Xiaomi closes financial services business in India

By Mrinmay Dey

(Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp has shut down its financial services business in India, four years after it launched, a Xiaomi India spokesman said on Friday.

“As part of the annual strategic review activity and in response to increased focus on our core business services, we closed Mi Financial Services in March 2022,” the company spokesperson said.

The company’s Mi Pay app, which allowed users to make bill payments and money transfers, is no longer listed as a recognized third-party Unified Payments Interface (UPI) app on the National Payments Corporation website. of India (NPCI).

The NPCI — an industry body that oversees India’s state-backed peer-to-peer payments network popularly known as UPI — declined to comment.

Xiaomi recently pulled its Mi Credit, which connects smartphone users with loan companies for quick loans, and Mi Pay apps from the local Play Store and its own app store, TechCrunch reported earlier on Friday.

In India, Xiaomi’s strongest market outside of China, the company has faced government investigations for allegedly dodging tax regulators.

In April, India’s federal financial crime agency froze $676 million in Xiaomi’s assets, alleging the company made illegal payments to foreign entities masquerading as royalty payments.

The Chinese smartphone group, which denies any wrongdoing, said the action “effectively halted” operations in its key Indian market.

Many Chinese companies have struggled to do business in India due to political tensions following a border clash in 2020.

India has cited security concerns in banning more than 300 Chinese apps since then, including popular apps such as TikTok, and has also tightened rules for Chinese companies investing in India.

(Reporting by Rittik Biswas and Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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