China’s top diplomat Wang Yi met Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Friday and Wang urged India to create a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies.
Wang, director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, expressed China’s concerns over India’s recent restrictions on Chinese firms in talks with Jaishankar during a series of ASEAN foreign ministers’ meetings, Xinhua news agency reported.
Wang said the common development and prosperity between the two neighbors is a global example and should be replaced by suspicion and mutual support.
Jaishankar said normalization of India-China relations is in the common interest of both sides and India is ready to deal with differences with an open mind.
For example, the Indian government froze nearly 4.8 billion yuan ($672 million) worth of Xiaomi’s funds in June, accusing it of illegally transferring funds abroad.
Following this, the Indian government last month imposed restrictions on Chinese smartphone makers such as Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo to mandatorily fill positions such as CEO, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief technology officer from local talent, according to Indian media reports.
Xiaomi India is reportedly undertaking a round of significant layoffs. Recent media reports indicate that the company, which had 1,400 to 1,500 employees in early 2023, has reduced its workforce to around 1,000.
After the June 2020 border dispute between China and India in the Galvan Valley, India has significantly tightened restrictions on Chinese companies in the past few years, according to Liu Songyi, secretary general of the China-South Asia Cooperation Research Center. Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told Global Times.
“These Indian actions against Chinese companies are unjustifiable,” Liu said.
Actions targeted by Indian authorities against Chinese companies have not only discouraged Chinese investors but also undermined foreign investor confidence in general, with some foreign companies opting to exit the Indian market amid growing concerns about their future business prospects, analysts said.