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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

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Indian police accuse Chinese telcos of funding an investigation into a news portal

A man walks past a logo of Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer of consumer electronics, outside a shop in... A man walks past a logo of Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer of consumer electronics, outside a shop in Mumbai, India, May 11, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
A man walks past a logo of Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer of consumer electronics, outside a shop in... A man walks past a logo of Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer of consumer electronics, outside a shop in Mumbai, India, May 11, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

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According to documents released on Friday, Indian authorities have publicly accused Chinese smartphone manufacturers Xiaomi Corp. and Vivo Mobile of aiding in the illicit cash transfer to a news service being investigated for allegedly promoting Chinese propaganda.

Xiaomi India’s representative vehemently refuted the charge. Repeated inquiries for comment from a Vivo spokeswoman did not receive an instant response. The claims, according to NewsClick, are “untenable and bogus.”

India’s government has refuted claims made by opposition and media rights groups that the probe into NewsClick and related allegations are part of a campaign against the media.

The claims were detailed in a police report submitted on August 17.

On Friday, days after authorities searched NewsClick’s New Delhi headquarters and the residences of its journalists, then detained the company’s founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha and a top administrative official, it was shared with the attorneys for those mentioned in the complaint.

A copy of the lawsuit, which accused NewsClick’s Purkayastha of collaborating with a little-known volunteer group to undermine India’s sovereignty and sow discontent, was obtained by Reuters.

According to the police report, huge sums of money were received from China to spread inaccurate news that criticized Indian policies and projects and defended Chinese ones.

The accusation said that large Chinese telecom firms, including Xiaomi, Vivo, and others, “incorporated thousands of shell companies in India in violation” of the country’s foreign exchange regulations “for illegally infusing foreign funds in India in furtherance of this conspiracy.”

A top police official acknowledged the document’s integrity and the accusations it contained against those two businesses.

“BASELESS, ABSURD”

“We know nothing about this. We categorically refute the allegations made against Xiaomi in the FIR, according to the spokesman for Xiaomi India. The First Information Report is the official name for a police complaint in India.

“Xiaomi conducts its business activities strictly with and with the highest regard for all applicable laws. Any conspiracy claims are unfounded, according to the spokeswoman. Among the most popular phone brands in India are Xiaomi and Vivo.

Further information on how the information was obtained, evidence of the firms’ involvement, or the steps the police were currently considering were not included in the policy paper.

This week, NewsClick said that it does not distribute news or information at the direction of any Chinese organization or government. The complaint was contested by its attorneys in the Delhi High Court.

“The completely absurd nature of allegations in the FIR clearly show that the proceedings initiated against NewsClick are nothing but a blatant attempt to muzzle the free and independent press in India,” NewsClick said in a statement issued on Friday.

“NewsClick has full faith in the judicial system of India and is confident that its stand will be vindicated,” it stated.

China has previously denied claims of meddling in Indian affairs and encouraged New Delhi to create an atmosphere that is fair and devoid of discrimination for Chinese businesses.

Since a 2020 military skirmish on their disputed Himalayan border, in which 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers died, India and China have deteriorated dramatically.

After numerous military and diplomatic negotiations, border tensions have decreased; nevertheless, New Delhi maintains that there must first be a full withdrawal and de-escalation before ties can return to normal.


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