Canada arrests CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei

Mae Love
December 6, 2018

Canadian authorities in Vancouver have arrested Huawei Technologies Co.'s chief financial officer at the request of the USA government for alleged violations of Iranian sanctions, the latest move by Washington to crack down on the Chinese cellular-technology giant.

A spokesman for Canada's justice department said Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 and is sought for extradition by the U.S.

The U.S.is seeking Ms. Meng's extradition so as to have her appear in federal court in the Eastern District of NY, according to people familiar with the matter.

"As there is a publication ban in effect, we can not provide any further detail at this time", department spokesperson Ian McLeod said in a statement to the newspaper. "The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng", he said.

In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei was being investigated by NY prosecutors on suspicion of breaking the Iran sanctions.

Meng, daughter of the founder of the massive company, is being held under a provisional arrest warrant issued under the Extradition Act.

A spokesperson from the federal Justice Department said the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies was arrested.

He declined to say more about the case, citing a publication ban requested by Ms Meng and ordered by the courts.

Meng Wanzhou's detention comes after American authorities reportedly launched an investigation into suspected Iran sanctions by Huawei, which was already under scrutiny by United States intelligence officials, who deemed the company a national security threat.

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The statement said that Meng was taken into custody when she was transferring flights in Canada.

Asked about the report that Huawei was under investigation, Hua said in April, "We hope the USA will refrain from taking actions that could further undermine investor confidence in the USA business environment and harm its domestic economy and normal, open, transparent and win-win global trade". "The company believes the Canadian and USA legal system will ultimately reach a just conclusion".

The U.S. government has been concerned about Huawei for years because of uncertainty over its relationship with the Chinese government.

Earlier this year, two US senators wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warning him that doing business with the Chinese telecom giant would open Canada up to a huge security risk.

The Wall Street Journal reported the United States government was trying to persuade companies in allied countries to avoid Huawei.

This November, New Zealand's government banned its major telecommunications company Spark from using Huawei's equipment, which is described to "have a serious national security risk". BT still planned to use Huawei phone mast antennas and some other products.

Over the summer, Australia also barred Huawei from providing 5G technology for wireless networks in the country over espionage fears.

Reuters quoted Huawei, the world's largest maker of telecommunications network equipment and the number three smartphone supplier, as saying that it complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates.

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