By Mrinmay Dey
(Reuters) -Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp has shut down its financial services business in India, four years after its launch, a Xiaomi India spokesperson said on Friday.
"As part of the annual strategic assessment activity and as a response to enhanced focus on our core business services, we closed the 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 among the recognized third-party Unified Payments Interface (UPI) apps on the National Payments Corporation of India's (NPCI) website.
The NPCI –– an industry body that oversees India's state-backed peer-to-peer payments network, popularly called UPI –– declined to comment.
Xiaomi recently pulled its Mi Credit, which connects smartphone users with lending firms 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 been subject to government probes for allegedly dodging tax regulators.
In April, India's federal financial crime agency froze $676 million worth of Xiaomi's assets, alleging the company made illegal remittances to foreign entities by passing them off as royalty payments.
The Chinese smartphone group, which denies any wrongdoing, has said the action "effectively halted" its 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 ones such as TikTok, and also tightened rules for Chinese companies investing in India.
(Reporting by Rittik Biswas and Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)