Top Huawei exec ar­rested in Canada

The New Paper - - NEWS -

Mar­kets spooked after CFO’s ar­rest in re­la­tion to vi­o­la­tion of US sanc­tions

WASH­ING­TON Canada has ar­rested Huawei’s global chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer in Van­cou­ver, where she is fac­ing ex­tra­di­tion to the US,

Canada’s Depart­ment of Jus­tice said on Wed­nes­day.

The ar­rest is re­lated to vi­o­la­tions of US sanc­tions, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said. Reuters was un­able to de­ter­mine the na­ture of the vi­o­la­tions.

Meng Wanzhou, 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 to­day, a Cana­dian Jus­tice Depart­ment spokesman said.

Huawei con­firmed the ar­rest and said that it has been pro­vided lit­tle in­for­ma­tion of the charges against Meng, adding that it was “not aware of any wrong­do­ing by Ms Meng.”

China’s em­bassy in Canada said it op­posed the ar­rest and called for Meng’s im­me­di­ate re­lease.

The ar­rest could drive a wedge be­tween China and the US just days after Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping held a meet­ing in Ar­gentina where they agreed to steps to re­solve a brew­ing trade war.

US au­thor­i­ties have been prob­ing Huawei, one of the world’s largest mak­ers of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work equip­ment, since at least 2016 for al­legedly ship­ping US-ori­gin prod­ucts to Iran and other coun­tries in vi­o­la­tion of US ex­port and sanc­tions laws, sources told Reuters in April.

The US Jus­tice Depart­ment de­clined to com­ment. In Jan­uary 2013, Reuters re­ported that a Hong Kong­based firm that at­tempted to sell em­bar­goed Hewlet­tPackard com­puter equip­ment to Iran’s largest mo­bile­phone op­er­a­tor had much closer ties to China’s Huawei Tech­nolo­gies than was pre­vi­ously known.

The news of Meng’s ar­rest comes on 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.

Huawei said Meng was de­tained when she was trans­fer­ring flights in Canada.

The hand­set and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment maker said it com­plies with all ap­pli­ca­ble ex­port con­trol and sanc­tions laws and US and other reg­u­la­tions. The ar­rest drew a quick re­ac­tion in Wash­ing­ton. US Repub­li­can sen­a­tor Ben Sasse praised the ac­tion and said that it was “for break­ing US sanc­tions against Iran.”

He added: “Some­times Chi­nese ag­gres­sion is ex­plic­itly state-spon­sored and some­times it’s laun­dered through many of Bei­jing’s so-called ‘pri­vate’ sec­tor en­ti­ties.”

US stock fu­tures tum­bled, fol­lowed by Asian mar­kets, as news of the ar­rest height­ened the sense that a ma­jor col­li­sion was brew­ing be­tween the world’s two largest eco­nomic pow­ers, not just over tar­iffs but also over tech­no­log­i­cal hege­mony.

While in­vestors ini­tially greeted the trade cease­fire reached in Ar­gentina with re­lief, the mood has quickly soured on scep­ti­cism that the two sides can reach a sub­stan­tive deal. – REUTERS


Meng Wanzhou is the daugh­ter of com­pany founder Ren Zhengfei.

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