Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Huawei CFO arrested, faces extradition to U.S.

Huawei CFO arrested, faces extradition to U.S.

The arrest of Wanzhou Meng, Huawei's chief financial officer and board deputy chair, has been confirmed by the Canadian authorities.

A spokesman for Canada's Justice Department said: "Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1".

Representatives of Huawei, one of the world's largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.

Canadian law enforcement arrested Wanzhou Meng at the behest of American authorities, who are investigating allegations that the Chinese-owned Huawei has shipped US -made products to Iran that are prohibited by sanctions and export laws. A bail hearing has been set for Friday, a department spokesman told the newspaper.

The Huawei statement said Meng, who also has gone by the English names Cathy and Sabrina, was detained when she was transferring flights in Canada.

United States national security officials have said Huawei poses a security risk due to its alleged close links to the Chinese government.

In a brief announcement released today, Canada's Department of Justice has announced that it has arrested the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou.

The arrest could drive a wedge between China and the United States just days after President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping held a meeting in Argentina where they agreed to steps to resolve a brewing trade war.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said USA and Canadian business executives could face reprisals in China.

According to The Wall Street Journal, since 2016, United States prosecutors have been examining whether Huawei broke USA trade embargoes to Iran.

News of the probe broke in April 2018 when it was reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Australia and New Zealand have already turned down Huawei's offer to supply 5G equipment to telecommunication companies, citing security risks.

Most recently, the U.K.'s BT said it plans to remove Huawei equipment from its core network.

Fellow Chinese technology giant ZTE had similarly been removed from the US trading blacklist at the start of past year by the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security following the company's guilty plea to illegally exporting products to Iran.

Mulroney said Canada should be prepared for "sustained fury" from the Chinese and said it will be portrayed in China as Canada kowtowing to Trump.

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