Police allege that Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and others helped fund ``a news site that spreads Chinese propaganda in India''

In October 2023, Indian police charged three people, including Prabir Purkayasha, who founded the news site NewsClick, with ``spreading Chinese propaganda and disrupting India's sovereignty.'' In police documents related to the accusation, Chinese smartphone manufacturers

Xiaomi and Vivo are also accused of helping illegally fund NewsClick.

Indian police accuse Chinese telcos of funding investigated news portal | Reuters

FIR links NewsClick case to legal aid for Chinese companies - The Hindu

NewsClick is a news site founded by journalist Purkayasha in 2009, and operates with the mission of ``covering news from India and abroad with a focus on progressive activities.''

However, in August 2023, the New York Times published an article stating that ``American businessman Neville Roy Singham is funding media outlets that defend China and spread propaganda.'' NewsClick was mentioned as a funding source.

In response, Indian police launched an investigation into NewsClick, and on October 3, arrested Mr. Purkayasha, NewsClick's human resources director, and shareholder activist Gautam Navlakha. In addition, more than 40 journalists and contributors associated with NewsClick were investigated, and Mr. Singham, who lives in Shanghai, China, was also charged.

The police's

First Information Report (FIR) related to the NewsClick investigation states that during the 2019 Indian general election , Purkayasha, Singham, and others were involved in ``Kashmir and Arunachal, areas whose sovereignty is disputed by China and India .'' It is said that they exchanged e-mails suggesting that the state of Pradesh should give the impression to the public that it is a disputed area.

The FIR states: 'Significant amounts of funds were transferred in camouflaged form from China in order to disrupt India's sovereignty and arouse discontent. ``Paid news promoting and defending ``was intentionally distributed,'' and NewsClick is accused of receiving funding from companies and organizations related to China.

The FIR further states, 'In furtherance of this conspiracy, leading telecom companies such as Xiaomi and Vivo have set up thousands of shell companies in India in violation of foreign exchange laws for the purpose of illegally funneling foreign funds to India.' The police allege that Xiaomi and Vivo supported the illegal funding.

In response, a Xiaomi spokesperson said, 'We have no knowledge of this matter. We strongly deny the above allegations against Xiaomi in the FIR.' 'We respect and operate our business in strict compliance. Allegations of conspiracy are completely baseless.'

NewsClick also directly refuted the police accusations the day after Mr. Purkayasha was arrested, claiming that it had never published the news at the request of Chinese organizations or authorities. NewsClick said in a statement: 'The FIR allegations are totally absurd and the proceedings initiated against NewsClick are nothing more than a blatant attempt to silence India's free and independent press. 'NewsClick has full confidence in the Indian judicial system and is confident that our position will be upheld.'

in Note, Posted by log1h_ik