Huawei's global chief financial officer arrested in Vancouver


Huawei's global chief financial officer arrested in Vancouver

Overnight the Canadian Justice Department revealed that Meng Wanzhou, deputy chairwoman of the controversial telecoms equipment maker Huawei, was taken into custody in Vancouver on Saturday after a U.S. extradition request.

Meng Wanzhou, also known as Sabrina Meng, is not only Huawei's chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman, she is also the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, founder of the Chinese telecoms giant.

Canadian authorities said Wednesday that they have arrested Meng for possible extradition to the United States.

The statement said Meng sought, and was granted, a publication ban which prevents the department from releasing further details about the arrest.

A Huawei spokesperson said Meng faces unspecified charges in the Eastern District of NY. Huawei issued a statement saying Meng was changing flights in Canada when she was detained "on behalf of the United States of America" to face "unspecified charges" in NY. The US has long suspected Huawei of involvement in Iranian sanctions violations and launched a criminal probe in April.

Though most Chinese people use their fathers' surnames, Ms Meng adopted her mother's family name. The world's second biggest smartphone maker, Huawei Technologies is seen to have close links to the Chinese Communist Party.

China urged Canada and the U.S. to "clarify" the reason for Meng's arrest and demanded her release.

In the Meng case, the timing and details of the arrest indicated the move was political, according to Sun Yun, director of the China programme at United States think tank the Stimson Centre. The company has been making a push to become the world leader in 5G technology and met with strong resistance from US officials.

Vigneault's speech comes shortly after three members Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance - New Zealand, Australia, U.S. - opted to ban carriers in their jurisdictions from purchasing telecommunications equipment from Huawei.

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Britain's BT said on Wednesday it was removing Huawei's equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations.

ZTE is China's second-largest telecommunications equipment maker and relies on USA components for its smart phones and networking equipment.

"(Canada) arrested a Chinese citizen (who did not violate) any Canadian or American law", the statement said.

Huawei itself has been increasingly on the rocks with the USA for the past year.

The Global TImes also reported, in a news story, that Chinese experts view the arrest as an intentional effort to "heat up the ongoing trade war".

Huawei has managed to achieve significant global market share despite the fact that it is largely shut out of the American market.

In 2012, the House of Representatives released a report warning Huawei poses a national security threat to the US, and American companies and its government should avoid doing business with the company. Washington has previously raised concerns about the Chinese conglomerate because of its links to Beijing's government.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the insinuation and says it's owned by Ren and its own employees.

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