Huawei CFO arrested in Canada for violating Iran sanctions

The CFO of tech giant Huawei was arrested in Canada Dec. 1

The CFO of tech giant Huawei was arrested in Canada Dec. 1. Steve Parsons- PA Images PA Images via Getty Images

On December 5, Canadian authorities confirmed that Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer and deputy chair of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei as well as a daughter of Huawei's founder, was arrested in Vancouver, British Columbia on December 1 at the request of US law enforcement authorities.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Thursday called Meng's arrest a violation of human rights and demanded the "immediate release" of the 46-year-old executive, who also goes by the name Sabrina. He said Meng's legal rights must be ensured, adding that neither Canadian nor American officials had so far responded to China's concerns.

However, the arrest drew a swift response from China, which said it "firmly opposes and strongly protests" the move, adding it had urged Canada and the United States to "immediately correct the wrongdoing". He declined to give further details, given that Meng faces a bail hearing on Friday. Meng, it said, was "not violating any American or Canadian law".

Sources told Reuters in April that USA authorities have been investigating Huawei, the world's largest telecoms equipment maker, since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping us -origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of us export and sanctions laws. He also said her arrest in transit in Canada seemed opportunistic rather than calculated.

Marty Kady, the editor of Politico Pro pointed out on Twitter that Meng's detention was the "equivalent of an Apple or Facebook exec being arrested in China".

Last month, New Zealand blocked a mobile phone company from using Huawei equipment, saying it posed a "significant network security risk".

He foresees a crisis in relations between the three countries if she is extradited and said any talk of free trade agreement between Canada and China would be over.

The "message is clear - the U.S. is closing the borders to many Chinese technology companies", said Neil Campling, co-head Global Thematic Group at Mirabaud Securities.

"The company believes the Canadian and United States legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion".

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The three-month period halted the addition of new tariffs by both countries and was aimed at resolving the ongoing trade dispute. He had earlier also indicated that the deadline for an agreement could be extended.

The move comes at a challenging time for Trudeau, whose attempts to boost trade ties with China are sputtering. Such requests must be made through the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs (OIA). These include director of the global accounting department, chief financial officer of Huawei Hong Kong and president of the accounting management department, the website said.

Meng is also the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese People's Liberation Army engineer. The charges against Meng - the daughter of the telecoms company's founder - remain unknown, but could relate to a possible violation of sanctions against Iran.

Huawei says the US requested Meng's arrest and it is unaware of any wrongdoing.

British Telecom said this week that it would stop using Huawei equipment in its 5G network, the BBC reported, and USA lawmakers have lobbied Canada's prime minister to freeze out the Chinese supplier.

The electronics giant is doing well with smartphone sales outside of the USA, but they, of course, could be even bigger if they were able to tap into this market. And earlier this year, the heads of six major USA intelligence agencies (including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA) warned citizens not to use their products and services. The timing of her arrest, coinciding with trade negotiations between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, has some observers speculating about a possible political motivation.

Traders said the development smashed hopes surrounding the trade war ceasefire announced by President Trump after talks with his Chinese counterpart at the weekend. -Chinese tensions that threaten global economic growth.

What has Canada said about the arrest?

"No matter what happens in the short term, (the arrest of Huawei's CFO) is a symptom of a long-term technology clash", said Derek Scissors, a China specialist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

The probe of Huawei is similar to one that threatened the survival of China's ZTE Corp, which pleaded guilty in 2017 to violating USA laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology to Iran.

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