Meng Wanzhou is accused of "conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions" and if convicted faces more than 30 years in prison, a Canadian government lawyer said, in asking the court to deny her bail request.
The arrest, revealed by Canadian authorities late on Wednesday, was part of a USA investigation into an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade American sanctions against Iran, sources say.
Chinese state media have slammed Meng's detention, accusing the United States of trying to "stifle" Huawei and curb its global expansion. The prosecutor says she assured banks that Huawei and Skycom were separate companies but he says the US contends that Skycom is Huawei.
The Attorney General opposed Meng's release on bail.
The company has said it is not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng and her lawyer, David Martin, told the B.C. Supreme Court no charge or indictment has been filed against his client, just a warrant. It's alleged that they did not know that they were in effect doing business with Iran and could have faced severe financial consequences, Gibb-Carsley said.
From 2009 to 2014, the court heard, Huawei used Skycom to transact business in Iran despite U.S. and European Union bans. "Let's see who doesn't get a permit or which USA executive gets arrested", she said. The court heard she was en route from Hong Kong to Mexico.
It's a case that could have potentially major implications for our country's relationship with China, and we're now finding out why the CFO of Huawei is wanted by the United States.
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Huawei was founded to sell phone switches but it is now the world's biggest supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies. The company is a privately held juggernaut with projected 2018 sales of more than US$102 billion that has already overtaken Apple in smartphone sales.
In 2014, British Columbia resident Su Bin was arrested by Canadian officials, on accusations that he had stolen top-secret American fighter jet plans.
Reporters in attendance tweeted details from the hearing, and noted the shocked reaction from the gathered crowd upon learning the possible severity of Meng's punishment were she to face trial and be found guilty. She's likely his heir apparent. Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said China is confident it can reach a deal during the 90 days that Trump agreed to suspend a scheduled increase in United States import taxes on $200 billion worth of Chinese products.
Meng's bio on the company website says she joined in 1993 and held various positions across the company, including director of global accounting and CFO of Huawei Hong Kong.
Huawei says Ren was a standout in the Chinese military's engineering corps, retiring in 1983 when the unit disbanded.
Meng, who also has used the English names Cathy and Sabrina, served on the board of Skycom between February 2008 and April 2009, according to Skycom records, and several other past and present Skycom directors appear to have connections to Huawei.