Trade war tensions with China rise following arrest of Huawei CFO in Canada

Wanzhou Meng, Huawei’s CFO and the daughter of the company’s founder, was arrested at the Vancouver airport on Dec. 1 and is awaiting extradition to the US to face trial on accusations that the US export sanctions against Iran were breached, writes the Globe and Mail. Her bail hearing is on Dec. 7.

Further details were not provided due to Meng’s request for a publication ban.

“She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday,” Justice Department spokesman Ian McLeod said in a statement to the Toronto-based newspaper on Wednesday. “As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time. The ban was sought by Ms. Meng.”

The US government released several warnings advising consumers to not purchase Huawei smartphones as it considers them a threat to national security. In April it was announced that the company was already under investigation for illegal sales violating US sanctions against Iran, following similar allegations against Chinese company ZTE. The use of Huawei devices has been banned in the US government, which has also sought to persuade other countries to ban the Chinese manufacturer.

“After the Trump Administration imposed a ban on the sale of American technologies to ZTE last week for similar export violations, this latest development feels like deja vu all over again and could cast a serious shadow over the business of the $92.5 billion Chinese company,” wrote Forbes at the time.

In 2016, the US government issued a subpoena to investigate Huawei’s export of US technology over the previous five years to advocates of international terrorism or nations under US trade sanctions and economic embargo such as North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Sudan and Syria.

Regarding Meng’s arrest, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canadian government is not involved, and the arrest happening following an extradition request from the US government.

Calling it a human rights violation, the Chinese embassy in Ottawa demanded her immediate release because she did not break the laws of the US and Canada.

“The detention without giving any reason violates a person’s human rights,” responded a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson. “We have made solemn representations to Canada and the US, demanding that both parties immediately clarify the reasons for the detention, and immediately release the detainee to protect the person’s legal rights.”

Source: Twitter

According to Reuters, Meng has been associated with Skycom Tech and a 2010 deal, which was not finalized, to sell HP equipment to Iran with the approval of Huawei. This may or may not have a connection with the charges brought against her now, details have not been released.

Leave a Reply