Canada arrests Huawei global CFO in Vancouver

Muriel Colon
December 6, 2018

Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou has been detained by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. government, reportedly on suspicion that she violated U.S. trade sanctions with Iran.

USA officials have been investigated Huawei over alleged violations of the country's sanctions on Iran and are seeking to extradite Meng.

The aim of the Justice Department's investigation is to prevent companies, such as Huawei and ZTE Corp. that may be answerable to the Chinese Communist Party, from gaining access into the USA economy amid allegations of spying on its citizens.

On its website, Huawei bills itself as "a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, with integrated solutions across four key domains - telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services".

This story is developing.

Meng was detained at the request of the United States, which was seeking her extradition to face "unspecified charges", when she was transferring flights in Canada, the company said in a statement. American prosecutors are seeking to have her moved to the U.S. as it investigates whether the company broke trade sanctions against Iran.

Several months after Donald Trump signed a bill into law preventing US government agencies from buying certain products from the Chinese electronics manufacturer, Huawei's CFO has been arrested in Canada.

Daily December E-mini S&P 500 Index
Daily December E-mini S&P 500 Index

Huawei's CFO was arrested in Canada, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.

"The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim", the diplomatic mission said in a statement.

The United States and Australian governments have long expressed concerns about the security implications of using telecommunications equipment from China.

News of the arrest came on the same day that BT announced it would be removing Huawei-manufactured equipment from its 3G and 4G mobile networks.

Since at least 2016, USA authorities have been reviewing Huawei's alleged shipping of US -origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of USA export and sanctions laws.

In 2016, the Commerce Department sought information in regards to Huawei possibly sending USA technology to Syria and North Korea as well. That probe became public in April, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper, which first reported the arrest on Wednesday.

The anxious about the extent to which Chinese-made equipment is used in the telecommunications sectors of countries that host American military bases. A proposal for the sale of the HP equipment to Iran contained at least 13 pages marked "Huawei confidential" and included the Huawei logo, Reuters said. For example, a management company that was controlled by Huawei's parent company in 2007 held all of Skycom's shares, and Meng at the time was that management firm's company secretary, Reuters reported.

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