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FIR filed against online shopping website company says it is of Singaporean origin

E-commerce company Shopee, which claims it is of Singaporean origin and is facing a controversy over FDI violations in the country, has been hit by an FIR filed by a customer in Lucknow for allegedly defrauding him.

In the FIR, filed at the Mohanlalganj police station in Lucknow on January 15 and seen by IANS, the complainant, Shashank Shekhar Singh, said that he ordered products online from Shopee on December 10, but what he received were duplicate products.

The FIR has named Shopee, its parent company Bengaluru-based SPPIN India Pvt Ltd, and senior company officials.

According to Singh, he ordered three products worth Rs 840, Rs 399 and Rs 1,299 from Shopee. What he received were not the products shown on the platform, but their fake variants, accusing the e-commerce platform of defrauding him.

In a statement to IANS, the platform said: “Shopee is a Singaporean company, not a Chinese company, committed to helping Indian small businesses thrive through their online e-commerce marketplace. The company aims to partner in India’s digital economy mission while contributing to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.”

Last month, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to ban Shopee, claiming that it is operating in India against FEMA Rules and FDI Press Note of 2020.

Shopee is an e-commerce giant which commenced its operations in India through an entity named SPPIN India Pvt Ltd, held by two holding companies, SPPIN I Pvt Ltd and SPPIN II Pvt Ltd, both registered in Singapore, the traders’ body claimed in the letter.

“These two entities are, in turn, held by another parent company SPPIN Ltd, registered in the Cayman Islands. This complex structuring of entities is nothing but an attempt to hoodwink the Indian government,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal wrote in the letter.

The traders’ body also accused Shopee of adopting “predatory pricing tactics”, thereby distorting competition in the market.

The Delhi High Court had in November last year sought the Centre’s to reply on a plea seeking to block ecommerce websites and mobile apps operated by SPPIN India Pvt Ltd under the name of Shopee.

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