Huawei executive arrested in Canada at US request

mengzong-2017

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou


Huawei

The chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada at the request of the US over alleged Iran sanctions violations.

Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested Saturday in Vancouver and is facing extradition to the US, Canada’s Justice Department told The Globe and Mail newspaper Wednesday. A bail hearing has been set for Friday, a department spokesman told the newspaper.

“As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time,” department spokesperson Ian McLeod said in a statement to the newspaper. “The ban was sought by Ms. Meng.”

China said on Thursday that Canada and the US hadn’t clarified the reason for the arrest, and that the Chinese consulate in Canada was providing assistance to Meng, Reuters reported. Meng’s detainment has angered Chinese officials, creating doubts about the recently agreed 90-day truce in its trade war with the US.

Huawei is the world’s second-largest phone manufacturer by volume, but it has struggled to make a dent in the US, partly because of concerns expressed by the government, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, the Federal Communications Commission and House Intelligence Committee

In February, FBI Director Chris Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the bureau was “deeply concerned” about the risks posed by Huawei and ZTE, a Chinese device maker on which the Commerce Department imposed a “denial of export privileges” in April.

In 2012, the Chinese telecommunications giant was linked to a plan to sell restricted computer equipment to Iran in violation of sanctions prohibiting such sales.

Representatives of the Canadian Justice Department, US Justice Department, US State Department and Huawei didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

CNET’s Sean Keane contributed to this report.

First published Dec. 5 at 3:39 p.m. PT.
Updated Dec 6 at 2:38 a.m. PT: Adds China’s response.


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