Huawei CFO may have fam­ily ties to Van­cou­ver

The Province - - NEWS - DER­RICK PENNER de­pen­[email protected]­media.com twit­ter.com/der­rick­pen­ner

Huawei chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Wanzhou Meng’s fam­ily ap­pears to have con­nec­tions to at least two pricey Van­cou­ver homes in­clud­ing one in the ex­clu­sive Shaugh­nessy neigh­bour­hood, prop­erty records show.

Meng, who also goes by the name Sab­rina, was ar­rested by Cana­dian po­lice while chang­ing planes at Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port Dec. 1 on a war­rant is­sued un­der the Ex­tra­di­tion Act at the re­quest of U.S. au­thor­i­ties.

She is due to ap­pear in B.C. Supreme Court in Van­cou­ver Fri­day morn­ing for a con­tin­u­a­tion of her bail hear­ing.

Crown pros­e­cu­tors have de­clined to say why Meng is be­ing sought for ex­tra­di­tion, but the Wall Street Jour­nal has re­ported that it is re­lated to al­leged vi­o­la­tions of U.S. trade sanc­tions, which Reuters news re­ported were sanc­tions against Iran.

Ac­cord­ing to B.C. Land Ti­tle reg­istry records, the Van­cou­ver houses, one on Matthews Av­enue in Shaugh­nessy and the other on West 28th Av­enue in Dunbar, are reg­is­tered to Xiao­zong Liu, the same name as Meng’s hus­band, who is iden­ti­fied in Chi­nese me­dia.

No one an­swered the door when Post­media News vis­ited the Dunbar home Thurs­day af­ter­noon, but neigh­bour­hood res­i­dents said they rec­og­nized Meng from me­dia re­ports, though they did not want to talk on the record.

The yard of the two-storey ex­ec­u­tive-style home on 28th Av­enue is well kept, with dec­o­ra­tive minia­ture lawn fur­ni­ture out front. Shut­ters were closed, drapes were drawn and a se­cu­rity cam­era mon­i­tored the front door.

Meng, 46, is deputy chair­woman of Huawei Tech­nolo­gies, one of China’s tele­com giants and a fam­ily busi­ness founded in 1987 by her for­mer mil­i­tary-engi­neer fa­ther Ren Zhengfei.

Chi­nese en­ter­prises are of­ten fam­ily busi­nesses and fam­ily mem­bers take the best spots if they are qual­i­fied and in­ter­ested, said Neil Abram­son, a re­tired pro­fes­sor of busi­ness strat­egy at Si­mon Fraser Univer­sity’s Beedie School of Busi­ness.

“She’s the daugh­ter of the chair­man so she would be like Ivanka Trump. She would be the Ivanka Trump of Huawei,” said Abram­son, ad­ding that Huawei is like the “Ap­ple of China” and Meng is an ex­tremely im­por­tant busi­ness per­son.

“It would be like ap­pre­hend­ing some­one like Bill Gates or some very im­por­tant Amer­i­can busi­ness per­son.”

Bloomberg News re­ported that Meng’s mar­i­tal sta­tus was un­clear, but in 2013 she de­nied in an­other me­dia re­port that she was mar­ried to Huawei board mem­ber and chief strat­egy mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Xu Wen­wei.

The web­site Best China News ref­er­ences Meng ap­pear­ing at a school an­niver­sary cer­e­mony with her hus­band, Xiao­zong Liu.

Meng rose through the com­pany ranks through hard work rather than priv­i­lege, said Wen­ran Jiang, a se­nior fel­low at the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia’s In­sti­tute for Asian Re­search.

“She was ac­tu­ally at one point crit­i­cized by her fa­ther and be­ing sup­pressed from pro­mo­tion. That was a well­known story and she even­tu­ally proved her­self and moved her­self up in the ranks,” he said.

Her bio on the com­pany web­site says Meng joined Huawei in 1993 and held var­i­ous po­si­tions across the com­pany, in­clud­ing di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional ac­count­ing and CFO of Huawei Hong Kong. She holds a master’s de­gree from Huazhong Univer­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy.

For a pe­riod of time she was in charge of Huawei’s in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion ef­forts, which have been ex­tremely suc­cess­ful, said Jiang.

Prop­erty doc­u­ments list Liu as owner of the home on 28th Av­enue in Van­cou­ver since 2009, when the home was pur­chased for $2.7 mil­lion. Records also show that Liu has owned the Matthews Av­enue prop­erty since 2016, when it was pur­chased for $15 mil­lion.

ARLEN REDEKOP/PNG

Two homes in pricey Van­cou­ver neigh­bour­hoods are reg­is­tered to a man iden­ti­fied in Chi­nese me­dia as Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s hus­band.

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