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After an ED campaign against the Chinese company Honor, its officials are fleeing India

Chinese smartphone brand Honor has withdrawn its team from India after the ED campaign. The company will still operate through a local team.

After India stepped up its scrutiny of Chinese smartphone brands, the Shenzhen-based smartphone brand formerly under Huawei has pulled its team out of India. The company’s CEO, Zhao Ming, announced the same through a report in the South China Morning Post.

According to the report, the company will continue to operate its business in India through local partners, but the brand will adopt a “very safe approach”. Honor CEO Zhao Ming said the company formed Team India a few years ago but chose to leave for “obvious reasons”.

The statement came after Indian authorities such as the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) conducted raids and investigations into popular Chinese smartphone brands such as Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi.

Honor used to have 3% smartphone market share in India during its peak in 2018. However, after US sanctions, Chinese conglomerate Huawei sold the assets of Honor’s smartphone business to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co Ltd.

Since its launch in 2013, Honor has mainly focused on the youth market by offering phones in the low to medium price range. The company has established itself as a smartphone brand that ships more than 70 million units annually. In India, the company has entered the laptop market and has expanded its wearables portfolio as well.

But now, with the Indian government stepping up its investigations into Chinese smartphone companies, the company has decided to pull its team out of the country. The government has raided the offices of Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi as well as Huawei in the past few months over alleged money laundering charges.

Earlier this month, the department’s Law Enforcement Directorate raided 48 Vivo Mobiles premises across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. After the raid, 119 bank accounts linked to Vivo’s Indian business in India holding 4.65 billion rupees ($58.76 million) were blocked by the ED. Shortly after Vivo, Oppo also appeared on ED’s radar.