In a significant diplomatic move, China has declared its commitment to providing consular assistance to two Chinese employees of the smartphone giant Vivo, who were recently arrested by Indian authorities. The pledge came from Mao Ning, the spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, who underscored the importance of non-discrimination against Chinese companies and expressed strong support for safeguarding their legal rights.
The two employees from Vivo’s India unit were apprehended by India’s financial crime-fighting agency last week, marking a development that has escalated tensions between the two nations. China’s response is a clear indication of its determination to protect the rights and interests of its citizens working abroad.
Mao Ning, during a regular press conference, stated, “We are closely following what you mentioned. The Chinese government firmly supports Chinese companies to safeguard their lawful rights and interests.” This assurance aligns with China’s consistent stance on defending its nationals and businesses operating overseas.
The arrests of the Vivo employees are the latest episode in an ongoing saga involving Chinese companies facing legal scrutiny in India. The individuals were brought to a Delhi court on Saturday and subsequently placed in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate. The exact charges against them remain undisclosed at this time.
The source directly involved with the case, requesting anonymity, revealed that the identities of the arrested Vivo employees, currently in Enforcement Directorate’s custody, could not be confirmed. However, it was disclosed that they are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. The legal proceedings will likely shed light on the nature of the allegations and the response from Vivo.
Vivo, in response to the arrests, has vowed to challenge the legal validity of the actions taken by Indian authorities. The company, a prominent player in the Indian smartphone market, asserts its commitment to operating within the bounds of the law and denies any wrongdoing. This legal dispute adds to the complexity of the situation, emphasizing the broader implications for foreign businesses in India.
Notably, these arrests come on the heels of similar actions taken by the Enforcement Directorate two months ago, where four industry executives, including a Chinese national, associated with Vivo’s Indian unit, were arrested in a case involving alleged money laundering. Vivo vehemently denied the charges at the time, setting the stage for a protracted legal battle.
The latest arrests amplify concerns about the strained relationship between China and India, particularly in the economic and trade sectors. The Chinese government’s swift response in vowing consular assistance reflects its commitment to shielding its citizens from legal challenges abroad and advocating for fair treatment of Chinese businesses on the global stage.
As the Vivo employees prepare to face the legal proceedings in India, the international community watches closely, anticipating the potential ramifications for diplomatic relations and the business landscape between the two Asian giants. The outcome of this legal saga could have far-reaching consequences, impacting not only the involved individuals and companies but also influencing the broader geopolitical dynamics in the region.