Huawei's chief financial officer arrested in Canada

Meng Wanzhou faces extradition to the US, authorities say

Thursday 06 December 2018 00:34
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Canadian authorities have arrested the chief financial officer of Huawei, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer.

Justice Department spokesman Ian McLeod said Meng Wanzhou had been detained in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday adding that Ms Meng was being sought for extradition by the US.

Mr McLeod said a publication ban had been imposed in the case and he could not provide any further details. The ban was sought by Ms Meng, who is due to appear in court for a bail hearing on Friday, he said.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that US authorities were investigating whether Chinese tech giant Huawei had violated sanctions on Iran.

Ms Meng is also deputy chairwoman of the board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

A US Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Huawei said the company was “not aware of any wrongdoing” by the executive.

In April, China appealed to Washington to avoid damaging business confidence following the Wall Street Journal report that US authorities were investigating whether Huawei violated sanctions on Iran amid spiralling technology tensions.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said then that China opposes any country imposing unilateral sanctions based on its own law.

Asked about the report that Huawei was under investigation, Ms Hua said in April, “We hope the US will refrain from taking actions that could further undermine investor confidence in the US business environment and harm its domestic economy and normal, open, transparent and win-win international trade.”

That same month Washington barred Huawei rival ZTE Corp from exporting US technology in a separate case over exports to Iran and North Korea.

Mr Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods in response to complaints that Beijing improperly pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

That is widely seen as part of a broader effort by Washington to respond to intensifying competition with Chinese technology industries that Trump says benefit from improper subsidies and market barriers.

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Last month New Zealand blocked Huawei from rolling out 5G mobile coverage over national security fears, following scrutiny of the firm by the UK, Japan and others.

BT has said it will remove the company’s technology from its networks over spying fears. Huawei has insisted the Beijing government has no influence over its work.

Additional reporting by AP

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