Huawei Telecommunications India CEO Li Xiongwei (also David Li), while challenging a claim issued by the income tax department in a Delhi court, said he was a “Chinese national and not a terrorist”.
According to an article in The Economic Times, in July this year, the income tax department filed a lawsuit against senior officials of Huawei Telecommunications (India), including CEO Li Xiongwei, and three others, alleging that the company withholds important tax information in some of the ongoing cases. The other officers involved are deputy chief financial officer Sandeep Bhatia, tax chief Amit Duggal and transfer pricing chief Long Cheng.
On May 1, Li was prevented by the IT department of Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi from traveling to Bangkok. He was named CEO of the telecom giant in April 2020.
The case so far
The IT department previously accused Huawei of transferring a large sum of money to its parent company in China in the form of dividends, around $94 million, and reducing its taxable income in India. A search operation was launched in February this year at several Huawei premises in India to look into the irregularities.
While investigations are ongoing, the IT department has issued a supervisory notice (LOC) which has prevented Li from traveling outside India.
The circular was challenged by the CEO in the Delhi High Court, which demanded that he be allowed to travel abroad.
Following this, the IT department urged the court to reject the Huawei CEO’s request and asked him to appeal to a lower court explaining his reasons for traveling abroad.
Other Chinese companies, such as Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo, are also under scrutiny for their revenue and tax issues.
A case of “risk of absconding”
The IT department challenging Li’s request to travel abroad told the court that since India does not have an extradition treaty with China if the Huawei CEO travels outside the country, it would be “very difficult” for the authorities to bring him back for trial. if he is found guilty. It could be a “leakage risk,” the IT department’s lawyers said.
The department had mentioned a few times that Li’s conduct showed “that he was unwilling to cooperate with the investigation and was avoiding it.”
Reacting to the allegations, Li’s lawyer, Vijay Aggarwal, on behalf of Li, told the court, “I am a Chinese national and not a terrorist.”
While arguing the case, Li’s attorney said it was an abuse of power as the department ‘opposed bail on a bailable offense. under caution “. The whole act was ‘disturbing’ as the ministry’s notice can only be sent in the event of a recognizable breach.
The bench meanwhile asked Li’s lawyer to provide information on Li’s annual salary and arrange for two sureties, both of Indian nationality, before delivering the verdict next week. The court also demanded a detailed report on Li’s relatives and the assets he has in India.
The IT department, for its part, said the LOC was issued for valid reasons and in accordance with the law.