Days after the Enforcement Directorate arrested two senior employees of Vivo India in connection with a money laundering case, China has urged Indian authorities to not discriminate against Chinese companies, Reuters reported on Monday.

Beijing has asked New Delhi to provide a “fair, transparent and non-discriminatory” environment to its companies operating in India.

“The Chinese government firmly supports Chinese companies to safeguard their lawful rights and interests,” added Mao Ning, the spokesperson for China’s foreign affairs ministry.

The Enforcement Directorate had arrested the Vivo India employees last week. The two were brought to a Delhi court on Saturday and sent to the central agency’s custody, according to Reuters.

Following this, the Chinese technology company said that it would challenge the arrests in court.

“We are deeply alarmed by the current action of the authorities,” a Vivo spokesperson said in a statement. “The recent arrests demonstrate continued harassment and as such induce an environment of uncertainty amongst the wider industry landscape. We are resolute in using all legal avenues to address and challenge these accusations.”

This came two months after the agency arrested four persons, including one Chinese national, in connection with the money-laundering investigation against Vivo’s Indian subsidiary.

The agency had launched the investigation against Vivo under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in July 2022.

It was alleged that some Chinese shareholders of the company had forged their identity documents to launder illegally generated funds using shell or paper companies.

The Enforcement Directorate conducted a series of raids at 48 locations belonging to Vivo India and its 23 associated companies last year on the basis of a complaint by the corporate affairs ministry.

Following that, it stated that Vivo India had illegally transferred Rs 62,476 crore, which was almost 50% of its total sales proceeds, to China. It claimed that the amount was remitted to China to show that the smartphone manufacturer had incurred losses to avoid paying taxes.

The case report alleged that Grand Prospect International Communication Private Limited, a company associated with Vivo India, and its shareholders had used forged identification documents and false addresses when the firm was incorporated in December 2014 by Chinese citizens Zhengshen Ou, Bin Lou and Zhang Jie with the help of Nitin Garg.