Former Huawei Smartphone Sub-brand Honor Zhao Ming Said To Withdraw Team India Amid Geopolitical Tensions

Former Huawei sub-brand and Chinese handset maker Honor has pulled its team from India amid geopolitical tensions, claims a report. This development comes amid the Indian government’s tightened scrutiny and investigations of several major Chinese smartphone brands like Vivo and Xiaomi.

According to a report by South China Morning Post, Honor’s CEO Zhao Ming, the company, which was previously under Huawei Technologies Co, has pulled its team from India. The Shenzhen-based company’s Indian business will remain in operation, managed by local partners, Zhao was quoted as saying by the SCMP report, but the brand will adopt a “very safe approach”.

Chinese conglomerate Huawei and its former sub-brand Honor were hit hard by the US sanctions in 2019. To help the former sub-brand bypass trade restrictions imposed by the US, Huawei in 2020 sold the brand to a consortium led by the Shenzhen government. Last October, Honor restarted its partnership with Google and launched a handset equipped with Google apps outside its home turf China.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) continued searches at the premises of Chinese companies in a money laundering case, Wang Xiaojian, counsellor and spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in India, said the frequent investigations by Indian authorities into Chinese enterprises “chill the confidence and willingness of market entities from other countries, including those from China to invest in India”.

As the ED raided 44 locations in 22 states on Tuesday and Wednesday, the directors of some of the companies associated with Vivo fled India.

According to sources, two of the Chinese directors of Solan, a Himachal Pradesh-based company, that was associated with Vivo, have likely fled India, as ED registered a prevention of money laundering case.

The Chinese nationals were made directors in the Indian entities with fake documents.

The enforcement agency has so far received information about money laundering worth Rs 10,000 crore during the raids, according to ED sources.

The Chinese embassy spokesperson said that the “frequent investigations by Indian authorities into Chinese enterprises not only disrupt normal business activities and damage the goodwill, but also impede the improvement of business environment in India”.

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