New Delhi: The Income-tax department has carried out searches at multiple premises of Chinese telecom company Huawei in the country as part of a tax evasion investigation, official sources said on Wednesday.
The raids were launched at the company’s premises in Delhi, Gurugram (Haryana) and Bengaluru in Karnataka on Tuesday.
Sources said the officials looked at financial documents, account books and company records as part of a tax evasion investigation against the company, its Indian businesses and overseas transactions.
Some records have been seized too, they said.
The company said its operations in the country were “firmly compliant” with the law.
“We have been informed of the visit of Income Tax team to our office and also of their meeting with some personnel. Huawei is confident our operations in India are firmly compliant to all laws and regulations. We will approach related Government departments for more information and fully cooperate as per the rules and regulations and follow the right procedure,” the company said in a statement.
India has kept Huawei out of trials for 5G services. However, telcos are permitted to source telecom gear from Huawei and ZTE under their old agreements.
According to government officials, the raid at ZTE revealed a number of infringements, including “massive tax evasion, bogus expenses worth hundreds of crores, illegal share purchases and currency exchange and accounting discrepancies.”
It may be mentioned here that Chinese-origin handset companies Oppo and Xiaomi have also been under the scanner for some time in India.
It is also looking at concealment of income and other doubtful financial transactions conducted by the gamut of Chinese companies operating in the telecom and electronics space.
The taxmen’s new move comes amid an increasingly tough posture being pursued against Chinese companies by the Indian government.
Earlier this week, the govt had brought fresh action against 54 Chinese apps, citing a threat to the country’s security. It takes the total number of Chinese apps that have faced Indian action to more than 300.