Huawei founder’s daugh­ter ar­rested

Viet Nam News - - FRONT PAGE -

VAN­COU­VER — The daugh­ter of Chi­nese tech gi­ant Huawei’s founder has been ar­rested in Canada and is fac­ing ex­tra­di­tion to the US, deal­ing a blow to hopes of an eas­ing of Sino-US trade ten­sions and rock­ing global stock mar­kets.

The shock ar­rest of Meng Wanzhou, who is also Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, raises fresh doubts over a 90-day truce on trade struck be­tween Pres­i­dents Don­ald Trump and Xi Jin­ping on Satur­day – the day she was de­tained.

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

The ar­rest and any po­ten­tial sanc­tions on the world’s sec­ond big­gest smart­phone maker could have ma­jor reper­cus­sions on the global tech­nol­ogy sup­ply chain.

Meng, one of the vice chairs on the com­pany’s board and the daugh­ter of com­pany founder Ren Zhengfei, was ar­rested on De­cem­ber 1 at the re­quest of US au­thor­i­ties and a court hear­ing has been set for to­day, a Cana­dian Jus­tice Depart­ment spokesman said. Trump and Xi had dined in Ar­gentina on De­cem­ber 1 at the G20 sum­mit.

Sources said in April that US au­thor­i­ties have been prob­ing Huawei, the world’s largest tele­coms equip­ment maker, since at least 2016 for al­legedly ship­ping US-ori­gin prod­ucts to Iran and other coun­tries in vi­o­la­tion of US ex­port and sanc­tions laws.

Huawei con­firmed the ar­rest in a state­ment and said that it has been pro­vided lit­tle in­for- ma­tion of the charges, adding that it was “not aware of any wrong­do­ing by Ms Meng”.

She was de­tained when she was trans­fer­ring flights in Canada, it added.

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

In April, the sources said the US Jus­tice Depart­ment probe was be­ing han­dled by the US at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Brook­lyn.

The US Jus­tice Depart­ment on Wed­nes­day de­clined to com­ment. A spokesman for the US at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Brook­lyn also de­clined to com­ment.

While Meng’s ar­rest comes at a del­i­cate time in US-China re­la­tions, it was not clear if the tim­ing was co­in­ci­den­tal.

Arthur Kroe­ber, founder of Gavekal Drago­nomics, said it was un­likely that Bei­jing would re­tal­i­ate in kind against the lo- cal US busi­ness com­mu­nity, whose in­ter­ests have partly over­lapped with China’s in the trade war and been a source of lever­age for Bei­jing.

“You can play hard­ball with a small coun­try but you can’t do it with the US,” he said. “Ac­tu­ally it hurts them to make life dif­fi­cult” for US com­pa­nies.

The probe of Huawei is sim­i­lar to one that threat­ened the sur­vival of China’s ZTE Corp, which pleaded guilty in 2017 to vi­o­lat­ing US laws that re­strict the sale of Amer­i­can­made tech­nol­ogy to Iran.

Ear­lier this year, the US banned Amer­i­can firms from selling parts and soft­ware to ZTE, which then paid US$1 bil­lion this sum­mer as part of a deal to get the ban lifted.

It was not i mme­di­ately clear how Huawei’s busi­ness op­er­a­tions might be af­fected by the ar­rest. — REUTERS

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