Xiaomi global VP appears before ED in FEMA case

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: Manu Kumar Jain, the global vice-president of Chinese mobile manufacturing company Xiaomi, on Wednesday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law, officials said.

The probe agency, according to sources, is investigating the company and its executives under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) related to foreign remittances worth crores of rupees made over the last few years. Jain, the former India head of Xiaomi, was questioned about the India operations of the company and his statement was recorded at ED’s Bengaluru zonal office, they said. He was asked to furnish a number of financial documents linked to the company which, sources said, have been submitted.

Documents related to Xiaomi’s shareholding, source of funds, vendor contracts, and payments made to Indian management and sent abroad were sought by the ED from Jain, who supervised its operations in India till recently, officials said. A Xiaomi spokesperson said they were “a law abiding and responsible company”, when asked about the ED notice to Jain.

“We give paramount importance to the laws of the land. We are fully compliant with all the regulations and are confident of the same. We are cooperating with authorities with their ongoing investigation to ensure they have all the requisite information,” the spokesperson said.

Proceedings under the FEMA are civil in nature and the final penalty, post adjudication, can be at least three times the amount contravened under the law. Premises of Xiaomi and few other Chinese mobile manufacturing companies were raided across the country by the Income Tax Department in December last year on charges of tax evasion.

The government has also banned some smartphone applications owned by Xiaomi on security grounds. Xiaomi has been leading the Indian smartphone market for the last several quarters. Despite a dip in smartphone shipments in India, the company secured 22 percent market share in the fourth quarter of 2021 and has maintained its lead.