Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has asked an Indian court to overturn the country?s financial crime agency?s decision to freeze its bank accounts, saying the move was ?wrong in law? and would harm business operations .
In a filing at the Delhi High Court in the capital, Vivo India said it would not be able to pay statutory dues and wages, listing 10 affected bank accounts and saying it had to make payments monthly payments of Rs. 28.26 billion.
Friday?s brief hearing came after Vivo asked the agency, the Enforcement Branch, to allow it to use the accounts.
The court gave the agency until July 13 to rule on the request and set its next hearing for that date.
On Thursday, the agency said it had blocked funds of Rs. 4.65 billion in 119 bank accounts linked to Vivo?s operations in India and its associates, as it investigates money laundering allegations by the smartphone manufacturer.
News of the agency?s raids on Vivo had prompted the Chinese Embassy in India to call for a fair business environment for its companies, saying multiple investigations into the companies had damaged the trust of foreign entities.
Vivo said it was cooperating with authorities and pledged to fully comply with Indian laws.
The company ranks among India?s top smartphone makers with a 15% market share, according to Counterpoint Research.
Market leader Xiaomi Corp has the largest share, at 24%, while South Korea?s Samsung Electronics has 18%.
In May, Reuters reported that Xiaomi Corp, one of India?s biggest smartphone sellers, said in court that its executives had been subjected to threats of violence and coercion during the interrogation of the agency on charges of illegal funds transfers.
Xiaomi denied wrongdoing and the agency denied the charges at the time.
India?s tougher scrutiny also led China?s Great Wall Motor to suspend plans to invest $1 billion (around Rs 7,900 crore) and lay off all its employees this month, after New Delhi refused regulatory approval for the purchase of a factory.
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