MURKY CASE

The Washington Times Daily - - FROM PAGE ONE -

Canada’s ar­rest — re­port­edly at the re­quest of the U.S. gov­ern­ment — of Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Meng Wanzhou has put a spot­light on one of China’s most suc­cess­ful high-tech com­pa­nies. Huawei has stirred fears through­out the West over its tech­no­log­i­cal prow­ess and close ties to the gov­ern­ment and to China’s mil­i­tary hier­ar­chy. A few key facts about the case:

Huawei

The pri­vate com­pany, based in China’s tech hub of Shen­zhen near Hong Kong, is the world’s largest sup­plier of net­work gear used by phone and in­ter­net com­pa­nies and re­cently sur­passed Ap­ple as the sec­ond big­gest maker of cell­phones af­ter South Korea’s Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co. The com­pany, founded in 1987 by for­mer mil­i­tary engi­neer Ren Zhengfei, who is Ms. Meng’s fa­ther, has 170,000 em­ploy­ees world­wide and does busi­ness in more than 170 coun­tries.

Busi­ness with Iran

Huawei’s busi­ness in Iran grew af­ter West­ern com­pa­nies with­drew to protest a crack­down on demon­stra­tors in 2009. In April of this year, China ap­pealed to the U.S. gov­ern­ment af­ter re­ports said the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion was in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Huawei had vi­o­lated U.S. trade sanc­tions on Iran. The re­ports did not say what the sus­pi­cions were.

Huawei and ZTE

Huawei and China-based ZTE Corp. have faced trou­ble over their deal­ings with Iran and fears that the Chi­nese com­pa­nies’ equip­ment might be used for spy­ing. ZTE was nearly driven out of busi­ness this year when Wash­ing­ton briefly barred it from buy­ing U.S. tech­nol­ogy over ex­ports to North Korea and Iran. Huawei has the big­gest R&D bud­get of any Chi­nese com­pany and a vast port­fo­lio of patents, mak­ing it less de­pen­dent on Amer­i­can sup­pli­ers.

What’s next

It’s un­clear ex­actly what charges Ms. Meng could face if she is ex­tra­dited to the United States. Se­cu­rity con­cerns have ham­pered Huawei’s busi­ness in the U.S. and coun­tries such as Aus­tralia and New Zealand as ac­qui­si­tions were re­jected and com­pa­nies warned not to source net­work equip­ment from Huawei or ZTE be­cause of se­cu­rity con­cerns.

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