Indian tax officials on Wednesday conducted searches at the offices of Chinese tech giant Huawei, the firm said, days after New Delhi banned a host of Chinese apps over national security concerns.
Tensions between New Delhi and Beijing have been running high since a deadly 2020 clash involving their militaries in a disputed Himalayan border area.
The latest volley from India saw officials from its income tax department search Huawei India’s premises in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of capital New Delhi, and in the southern tech hub of Bangalore, according to the company.
“We have been informed of the visit of income tax team to our office and also of their meeting with some personnel,” Huawei India said in a statement emailed to AFP.
Huawei was confident their operations in India were “firmly compliant” to local laws and they would fully cooperate with the authorities, the statement added.
Indian authorities were not immediately available for comment.
Local media reports said the officials were looking at the financial documents, account books, and Huawei’s Indian businesses as well as overseas transactions.
#Huawei faces Income Tax Department heat in #India. Searches currently on at Chinese Telecom Giant's offices in Gurugram (Haryana), Bengaluru (Karnataka) & even in the national capital Delhi. Reported tax evasion probe currently underway.
— GAURAV C SAWANT (@gauravcsawant) February 16, 2022
Earlier this week, India’s home ministry banned 54 mobile applications of Chinese origin, including the popular game Garena Free Fire, several news outlets reported.
India is the world’s second-biggest market by number of phone users, and the government has justified the bans on the apps, saying they threatened its sovereignty and integrity.
In 2020, the government had banned TikTok and a host of other popular short video apps from China.
Anti-China sentiment has grown in India since the Himalayan border clash, sparking calls for a boycott of goods from the neighbouring country.
However, China continues to be a key economic partner for India, with bilateral trade in 2021 crossing $125 billion, according to media reports.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk