How arrest of Huawei Technologies CFO extends troubled history with US

How arrest of Huawei Technologies CFO extends troubled history with US

Troy Powers
December 7, 2018

Wanzhou Meng, who is also the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, is facing extradition orders to the US on suspicion of violating trade sanctions against Iran.

The ministry said the U.S. is seeking her extradition and she faces a bail hearing on Friday, adding it could not provide further details due to a publication ban that was sought by Meng, whose father, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is a former Chinese People's Liberation Army engineer.

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

It says she was arrested when she was transferring flights in Canada.

The South China Morning Post said that Ms Meng has spoken to Huawei staff in a recent internal briefing on regulatory compliance.

"Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the Chief Financial Officer of a giant Chinese telecom company for breaking USA sanctions against Iran", he said.

"The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim", read a statement released by the Chinese Embassy in Canada.

'China has already made solemn representations to the United States and Canada, demanding they immediately correct their wrong behavior and restore Ms Meng Wanzhou's freedom'.

A rout on Wall Street deepened Thursday after news of the arrest of a top executive at Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei stoked fears it could hinder progress in U.S. Early in April, Reuters had reported that since at least 2016, the us attorney's office in Brooklyn has been probing Huawei's alleged shipping of USA -origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of USA export and sanctions laws.

Meng is a prominent member of China's business world as deputy chairman of Huawei's board and the daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese military engineer. Chinese technology has been a particular bugbear for the USA president, who has justified imposing tariffs on Chinese imports with allegations of intellectual property theft by Chinese companies.

"The rapidly dwindling good-feeling towards the United States and China's vague trade war ceasefire turned actively hostile on Thursday, investors fearing that, 90-day truce or not, the relationship between the two superpowers might be about to take a turn for the worse".

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Meng was arrested in Canada at the request of US authorities on the same day USA and Chinese officials held talks at the G-20 in Argentina that resulted in the three-month truce.

Founded in China more than 30 years ago, Huawei's revenue in 2018 exceeded $100billion for the first time in its history, according to CNBC.

China's foreign ministry urged Canada and the U.S. to "clarify" the reason for Meng's detention. Huawei, which sells smartphones, has always been identified by the a threat to national security.

China could "take hostages" and is nearly certain to retaliate against the United States, experts say, after the stunning arrest of a top Chinese tech executive for allegedly trying to skirt sanctions on Iran.

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday declined to comment. But ZTE (ZTCOF), a Chinese tech firm that was temporarily crippled by a USA export ban earlier this year, slumped almost 9%.

President Donald Trump spooked investors on Tuesday when he called himself a "Tariff Man" in a tweet.

While Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. dominate headlines thanks to flashy growth and high-profile billionaire founders, Ren's company is by far China's most global technology company, with operations spanning Africa, Europe and Asia.

The recent trade sanctions from the United States on Huawei is getting much worse.

BT, Britain's largest mobile provider, said this week it was removing the equipment of Huawei from its 4G cellular network.

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

Meng's arrest drew a quick reaction in Washington.