Handset maker Vivo has been stopped by Indian authorities from exporting around 27,000 smartphones worth $15 million, for more than a week, the media has reported. Vivo India-manufactured smartphones are being held up at the New Delhi airport by the country’s revenue intelligence unit, which is a branch of the Finance Ministry, over alleged misdeclaration of the smartphone models and their value, said a report by news agency Bloomberg quoting multiple people familiar with the matter.
The stopping of the handset maker’s shipments at the airport is likely to unnerve other Chinese smartphone makers such as Realme, Xiaomi and others in the country where a nationalistic government, led by PM Narendra Modi is pushing them to ramp up exports and build local supply chains. This could also hurt India’s ambitious target of exporting electronics products worth $120 billion by the end of March 2026, the Bloomberg report added.
According to the report, an industry lobby group has criticised the authority’s actions. The Chairman of India Cellular and Electronics Association, Pankaj Mohindroo, has also recently submitted a letter to the ministry and Mohindroo has reportedly mentioned that such actions will “diffuse the motivation” for firms to manufacture and export electronics from India.
To recall, earlier in August, Vivo’s India unit had been accused of evading customs duty of more than $280 million by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, weeks after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the offices of the smartphone maker.
According to the Finance Ministry, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had recovered “incriminating evidence indicating wilful misdeclaration in the description of certain items” imported by the smartphone maker’s India unit while conducting searches at its factories. The ministry had added in a press statement: “It resulted in ‘wrongful availment of ineligible duty exemption benefits’ by the company.”
Meanwhile, the ED had earlier told Delhi High Court through an affidavit that Vivo India indulged in money laundering to destabilise the financial system and challenge the integrity and sovereignty of the country.