December, 6, 2018
Recent international reports from international media said that Huawei Founder Ren Zhengfei’s Daughter and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou, also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, according to Canadian Justice Department spokesman Ian McLeod.
Reports further highlighted that in addition to her role as CFO, Meng serves as deputy Chairwoman of Huawei's board, being the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.
“Meng "is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday," McLeod said in a statement, which was first reported by The Globe and Mail. Further McLeod had said the Canadian Justice Department can't share details of the case. Reports added that Meng was granted a publication ban after a judge agreed to bar both police and prosecutors from releasing information about the case.
The Chinese company, which sells smartphones and telecommunications equipment around the world, has been facing increased scrutiny in the United States and other countries, where officials have warned of potential national security risks from using Huawei products. The United States is concerned that the Chinese government could be using Huawei's networking technology to spy on Americans.
Meanwhile a Huawei spokesperson had said that Meng was detained by Canadian authorities on behalf of the United States when she was transferring flights in Canada. Huawei said she faces unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York. Reports also highlight that the Wall Street Journal reported in April that the US Justice Department was investigating whether Huawei violated US sanctions on Iran.
"The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng," the spokesperson had told reporters said. "The company believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU." Meanwhile the US Justice Department had declined to comment Wednesday, whilst a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Canada issued a statement urging the United States and Canada to "immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou."
"We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens," the statement added.
America’s Pentagon in May ordered stores on American military bases to stop selling smartphones made by Huawei and Chinese rival ZTE. And in February, top officials from the CIA, NSA, FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency told a Senate committee that those firms' smartphones posed a security threat to American customers. The Trump administration launched an extraordinary campaign, urging America's allies to stop using Huawei telecommunications equipment because the Chinese company poses a security threat, according to the Wall Street Journal. Over the past several weeks, New Zealand and Australia have prevented telecommunications companies from using Huawei equipment for their 5G mobile networks.
UK telecom company BT (BT) said Wednesday that it would not buy equipment from the Chinese tech company for the core of its next generation wireless network. The company also said it would remove existing Huawei technology from the heart of its 4G network within two years.
On the contrary Huawei had told reporters last month that its equipment is trusted by customers in 170 countries and by 46 of the world's 50 largest telecommunications companies.