Vivo asks court to reopen bank accounts, says we’re responsible

Vivo has asked the court to lift the freeze on the company’s bank accounts, claiming to have 9,000 employees to feed.

In an ongoing standoff between the Directorate of Law Enforcement and Chinese smartphone maker Vivo, the latter has asked the court to allow him access to his bank accounts. Regarding the money laundering case that Vivo is accused of, the ED had previously frozen the company’s bank accounts. Vivo said the move was “wrong in law” in a statement to Reuters and would end up hurting its business operations in India. The ED has not yet responded to this.

In a new application to the Delhi High Court, Vivo India said that due to the frozen bank accounts, the company would not be able to pay all dues as well as salaries of its employees. The company said it had to pay monthly payments of Rs. 28.26 billion, which is currently restricted due to the ED ruling. Note that Vivo previously asked ED to allow it to use its accounts for the same.

Vivo asks the court to allow it to use the accounts

The Delhi High Court has meanwhile asked the ED to rule on this claim and set a new hearing date for it. The agency will have until July 13 to take a call on this.

Note that the ED previously announced that it had blocked nearly Rs. 4.65 billion ($59 million) in more than 119 bank accounts linked to Vivo’s operations in India and its associates. The ED is still investigating money laundering allegations made by the smartphone maker.

Vivo’s parent country, China, has also spoken out regarding the issue after learning about the same. After the Vivo and Xiaomi cases, the Chinese Embassy asked the Indian government to call for a fair business environment for its companies. He said all these investigations have shaken the confidence of these companies.

Vivo, on the other hand, says it fully cooperates with the agency and fully complies with local laws.

Vivo is currently one of the biggest smartphone makers in India, while rival brand Xiaomi also continues to dominate sales. Earlier today, reports surfaced that Huawei has also been investigated by the Income Tax Department for similar reasons.