Fresh tensions between America and China as Huawei’s CFO is arrested in Canada for ‘violating U.S. sanctions on Iran’: Beijing says she was was ‘wrongly’ detained and demands her release, just days after Trump agreed to a trade war ceasefire
- Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer for Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday
- She is facing extradition to the United States for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran
- Huawei is the world’s second largest maker of smartphones
- China criticized Canada and the U.S. for the arrest and demanded Meng’s immediate release
The United States government is set to indict a top executive from Huawei, the Chinese smartphone maker, in a move that could increase tensions between the two countries.
Canada on Saturday arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the U.S. on suspicion she violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Wednesday.
China’s embassy in Canada criticized Canada and the United States for the arrest. It also demanded Meng’s immediate release.
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada said that it resolutely opposes Meng’s arrest and demands her immediate release.
‘The Canadian police, at the request of the United States, arrested a Chinese citizen who had not violated any U.S. or Canadian law,’ the embassy said in a short statement on its website.
Canada on Saturday arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the U.S. on suspicion she violated U.S. sanctions against Iran
‘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.’
Meng, who is one of the vice chairs on the Chinese technology company’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on Dec. 1 and a court hearing has been set for Friday, a Canadian Justice Department spokesman said, according to the Globe and Mail.
Representatives of Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, told The New York Times: ‘The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng.’
Officials for the Canadian and U.S. Justice Departments did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws, sources told Reuters in April.
‘Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, a Canadian government spokesperson told The Globe and Mail.
‘She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday.
‘As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time.
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‘The ban was sought by Ms. Meng.’
The news comes the same day Britain’s BT Group said it was removing Huawei’s equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the next network.
Meng, who is one of the vice chairs on the Chinese technology company’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei (above), was arrested on Dec. 1 and a court hearing has been set for Friday
New Zealand and Australia have stopped telecom operators using Huawei’s equipment in new 5G networks because they are concerned about possible Chinese government involvement in their communications infrastructure.
Huawei, the world’s biggest network equipment maker ahead of Ericsson and Nokia, has said Beijing has no influence over its operations.
BT said Huawei’s equipment had not been used in the core of its fixed-line network, and it was removing it from the core of the mobile networks it acquired when it bought operator EE.
A U.S. judge last month issued an order finding that China’s ZTE Corp violated probation imposed in March 2017 when the company pleaded guilty for conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions by illegally shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran.
ZTE is China’s second-largest telecommunications equipment maker and relies on U.S. components for its smart phones and networking equipment.
The probation violation cited by the judge involves the same conduct the U.S. Department of Commerce penalized in April by imposing a ban on U.S. companies selling goods to ZTE.
Last month, the Trump administration launched an unusual lobbying campaign directed at allied foreign governments, asking them to press wireless and internet providers in these countries not to use Huawei equipment, according to The Wall Street Journal.
American officials have talked to their counterparts in Germany, Italy, and Japan – countries where Huawei products are widely used.
The U.S. is worried about the extent to which Chinese-made equipment is used in the telecommunications sectors of countries that host American military bases.
The move has been taken with a greater sense of urgency since internet providers are gearing up to purchase massive amounts of hardware for the much-anticipated 5G upgrade.
The advent of 5G promises to make superfast internet connection available to consumers. It is expected to speed up the development of self-driving cars and other technologies that rely on the internet of things.
Huawei, which sells telecommunications and computer electronics equipment, is the world’s second largest maker of smartphones, behind South Korean giant Samsung. Huawei global headquarters is seen above in Shenzhen, China
Huawei, which sells telecommunications and computer electronics equipment, is the world’s second largest maker of smartphones, behind South Korean giant Samsung.
Huawei overtook Apple earlier this year to move into the No. 2 spot, according to Business Insider.
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.
Huawei has managed to achieve significant global market share despite the fact that it is largely shut out of the American market.
American lawmakers have claimed, without evidence, that Huawei passed sensitive information collected by its equipment to the Chinese government.
U.S. telecommunications firms fear that partnering with Huawei by allowing it to sell their smartphones would anger the federal government and jeopardize future contracts.
Huawei, for its part, has denied sharing information with the Chinese government, as has ZTE.
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