|ByteDance had earlier said it disagrees with the Indian tax authority's decision. (Photo by= Gadgets NDTV Website)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] An Indian court on Tuesday said China's ByteDance must deposit around US$11 million that federal authorities believe the company owes in an alleged case of tax evasion, a setback for the firm which wanted to unblock its bank accounts to pay salaries.
An Indian tax intelligence agency in mid-March ordered HSBC and Citibank in Mumbai to freeze accounts of ByteDance India as it probed some of the firm's financial dealings. ByteDance challenged the move in court saying the freeze amounted to harassment and was done illegally. ByteDance has said in court it doesn’t owe the tax government is demanding and doesn’t agree with the tax authority's decision to freeze its accounts.ByteDance didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The High Court in Mumbai said the company will need to keep that amount blocked in a state-run bank following a government counsel said ByteDance owed the authorities about 790 million rupees (US$11 million), That amount will be frozen, the two-judge bench said. However, the four blocked bank accounts of ByteDance had just US$10 million in funds, according to the company's court filing seen by Reuters. A counsel for the federal tax authority, Jitendra Mishra, said ByteDance can utilize the US$10 million for making the court-mandated deposit, but cannot use it for any other activity.