Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global CFO, is fighting to be released on bail after being arrested on December 1 in Vancouver, Canada, at the request of the United States. During the hearing last weekend, more details became known about the accusations. Meanwhile, China is demanding the immediate release of the CFO.
Meng was arrested by the Canadian authorities at the beginning of this month during a transit from Hong Kong to Mexico, via Vancouver. The arrest of the CFO, who was also the subsidiary of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was at the request of the United States. Since 2016, the US has been investigating the Chinese telecom giant on suspicion of violation of the US trade embargo against Iran.
Specifically, Meng is accused of fraud by the US, according to journalists from The Star Vancouver, who attended the bail hearing. The CFO is said to have misled international banks about Huawei’s relationship with telecom company SkyCom, which operates in Iran. As a result of this alleged deception, the banks ran the risk of violating US sanctions against Iran.
According to the allegations, Meng said during a meeting with a senior executive of the bank HSBC in 2013 that her company respects the American sanctions against Iran, and Huawei and SkyCom are two separate companies. However, the US argues that SkyCom is part of Huawei and relies on interviews with former SkyCom employees. For example, SkyCom’s management would consist of Huawei employees.
David Martin, Meng Wanzhou’s lawyer, replied that Huawei once had a stake in SkyCom and Wanzhou sat on the board of directors, but that this is no longer the case. The shares were sold in 2009 and SkyCom then became an independent contractor of Huawei.
The company has received very little information about the allegations and is not aware of any misdemeanour on the part of Mrs Meng. The company believes that the Canadian and American legal systems will eventually come to the right conclusion. Huawei complies with all applicable regulations in which it operates, including applicable export controls and sanction laws of the UN, the US and the EU, it sounds in an official statement of Huawei.
The arrest of the Huawei CFO has put a heavy burden on the Chinese government, which is demanding immediate release. China accuses Canada and the United States of violating Wanzhou’s human rights.
The actions of the US have seriously violated the legal and legitimate rights of Chinese citizens and were by nature extremely dirty, said Chinese foreign minister Le Yucheng in a conversation with American Ambassador Terry Branstad. China will continue to react, depending on American actions.
Yucheng also sent the same warning to the Canadian ambassador earlier. The Canadian government argues that it had no choice but to carry out the arrest because it has an extradition agreement with the United States.
The arrest of Wanzhou further increases tensions between the United States and China. Both countries have been engaged in a trade war for months, with Huawei in the eye of the storm. The U.S. fears Chinese espionage through telecom giant equipment.
Earlier this year, President Trump passed a bill to ban all Huawei equipment from any government agency. He also openly puts pressure on befriended countries to ignore Huawei for future 5G investments. Australia is following Trump’s advice and New Zealand has also recently blocked a deal between operator Spark and Huawei.our launch article.