Canada arrests Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s financial director, and China responds angrily

Details about the arrest were not released, but the United States is investigating Huawei for a possible violation of sanctions against Iran. Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the founder of Huawei, faces extradition to that country.

The daughter of the founder of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei was arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United States.

Meng Wanzhou, who is the company’s financial director, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1.

Details about the arrest were not released, but the United States is investigating Huawei for a possible violation of sanctions against Iran.

The Chinese embassy in Canada protested the arrest and demanded his release. Huawei said he had little information about the charges and that “he was not aware of any crime by Meng.”

The Canadian Ministry of Justice only confirmed the date and detention of Meng, adding that “the United States is seeking his extradition, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday.” It was explained that he could not say more because the Huawei financial director had requested a ban on the publication of details and this had been ordered by the courts.

A spokesman for the US Department of Justice in the eastern district of New York, which according to Huawei was where the charges were filed, declined to comment.
Huawei logo.

Meng’s arrest comes at a sensitive time in US-China relations. The nations are in the midst of a commercial war for which each has imposed millionaire tariffs on numerous goods produced by the other.

Canada arrests Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's financial director, and China responds angrily
Canada arrests Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s financial director, and China responds angrily

The arrest will not help the 90-day tariff truce agreed between the two countries after US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in the G20.

US media reported that Huawei is under investigation for possible violations of US sanctions against Iran. Trump reinstated sanctions against Iran last month, which had been eliminated under the 2015 nuclear agreement.

In addition, US lawmakers accused the company on numerous occasions of threatening national security, arguing that its technology could be used by the Chinese government for espionage.

The company is one of the largest suppliers of telecommunications equipment and services in the world and recently surpassed Apple to become the second smartphone maker after Samsung.

But some Western governments fear that Beijing will gain access to fifth generation (5G) mobile networks through Huawei and expand its espionage capacity, although the firm insists there is no government control.

Huawei said his chief financial officer was arrested on a flight connection.

In a statement, he said he had complied with “all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including the applicable laws and regulations on export control and sanctions of the United Nations, the United States and the European Union.”

The Chinese embassy in Canada showed much greater anger.

He said that Canada, at the request of the United States, had arrested a Chinese citizen who “had not violated any US or Canadian law” and urged that “correct the offense and restore the freedom of Meng Wanzhou.”

“The Chinese side has shown its severe discontent with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct and restore Meng Wanzhou’s personal freedom.”

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