Huawei CFO Arrested in Canada, Faces Extradition to US

Asia

06 December 2018, 05:50

M.News

Canada has arrested Huaweis global chief financial officer in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the United States, Canadas Department of Justice said Wednesday, VOA news reports.

The arrest is related to violations of U.S. sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said. Reuters was unable to determine the precise nature of the violations.

Meng Wanzhou, who is one of the vice chairs on the Chinese technology companys board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested Dec. 1 and a court hearing has been set for Friday, a Canadian Justice Department spokesman said.

Huawei confirmed the arrest in a statement and said that it has been provided little information of the charges against Meng, adding that it was not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng.

Chinas embassy in Canada said it resolutely opposed the arrest and called for Mengs immediate release.

More US-China tension

The arrest could drive a wedge between China and the United States just days after President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping met over dinner in Argentina where they agreed to steps to resolve a brewing trade war.

U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei, one of the worlds largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws, sources told Reuters in April.

The U.S. Justice Department investigation is being run out of the U.S. attorneys office in Brooklyn, the sources said.

The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment. A spokesman for the U.S. attorneys office in Brooklyn also declined to comment.

Britain pulls equipment

In January 2013, Reuters reported that a Hong Kong-based firm that attempted to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Irans largest mobile-phone operator had much closer ties to Chinas Huawei Technologies than was previously known.

The news comes the same day Britains BT Group said it was removing Huaweis equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the next network.

The Huawei statement said Meng, who also has gone by the English names Cathy and Sabrina, was detained when she was transferring flights in Canada.

The handset and telecommunications equipment maker said it complies with all applicable export control and sanctions laws and U.S. and other regulations.

The arrest drew a quick reaction in Washington.

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse praised the action and said that it was for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran. He added: Sometimes Chinese aggression is explicitly state-sponsored and sometimes its laundered through many of Beijings so-called private sector entities.

Stocks tumble

U.S. stock futures tumbled, followed by Asian markets, as news of the arrest heightened the sense a major collision was brewing between the worlds two largest economic powers, not just over tariffs but also over technological hegemony.

While investors initially greeted the trade cease-fire reached in Argentina with relief, the mood has quickly soured on skepticism that the two sides can reach a substantive deal.

Samp;P500 e-mini futures ESc1 were down almost 2 percent at one point in thin Asian morning trade Thursday.