Chief financial officer of China's Huawei arrested in Canada

Chief financial officer of China's Huawei arrested in Canada

Canadian publication The Globe and Mail reported that Meng Wanzhou, the global chief financial officer at the Chinese telco, faces extradition to the US.

Justice Department spokesman Ian McLeod says in an email that Wanzhou Meng was arrested Saturday. She will have a bail hearing on Friday, he said. "The ban was sought by Ms Meng".

Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is seen as a key figure in the company, serving both on the company's executive team and its board of directors. Meng adopted her mother's surname.

Earlier this year, Reuters news agency reported that USA prosecutors in NY were investigating whether Huawei violated American sanctions against Iran by shipping American-origin products to Iran in violation of US export and sanctions laws. No other details were available.

A spokesman for the US Justice Department in the Eastern District of NY - which Huawei said had brought the charges - declined to comment.

The Globe and Mail reported earlier Wednesday that she was arrested on suspicion of violating US trade sanctions on Iran.

The Globe and Mail reported the arrest was in relation to sanctions-busting in Iran - rather than any concerns about espionage by the Chinese firm - which has annual revenues of US$93 billion (NZ$135b) and 180,000 employees and is deeply embedded with many New Zealand telcos.

Ms. Meng's arrest comes amid a year-long USA government campaign against a company it views as a national-security threat.

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Huawei issued a statement saying Meng was changing flights in Canada when she was detained "on behalf of the United States of America" to face "unspecified charges" in NY. "The company believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion", the statement said.

The U.S. previously banned ZTE, a Huawei competitor, for violating similar sanctions.

Huawei's CFO was arrested in Canada, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.

"While we lifted the ban on ZTE, the department will remain vigilant as we closely monitor ZTE's actions to ensure compliance with all U.S. laws and regulations", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at the time.

Huawei makes telecom equipment and personal electronics sold worldwide.

Spark also uses network access equipment from Huawei in cellphone towers - but not in its core mobile network - and Spark spokesman Andrew Pirie said that meant BT's decision had no direct implications for it.

The Chinese telecommunications giant is now in partnership with Canadian universities across the country as well as companies such as Telus, with whom it is developing 5G networks in Canada.

The U.S. government has been concerned about Huawei for years because of uncertainty over its relationship with the Chinese government.

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