Dec 6, 2018, 4:36 AM ET

Huawei CFO arrested in Canada on behalf of US authorities

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The chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman of the Chinese tech firm Huawei has been detained in Canada at the request of the U.S. government, the company said Wednesday.

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Huawei said its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was "provisionally detained" in Vancouver and is sought for extradition by the U.S. government, the telecommunications giant said in a statement.

It said it was not aware of any wrongdoing by Wanzhou, the daughter of the company's 74-year-old founder, Ren Zhengfei. Huawei also noted that it hadn't violated any U.S. sanction laws.

Foreigners look at a Huawei computer at a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Canadian authorities said Wednesday that they have arrested the chief financial officer of Chinas Huawei Technologies for possible extradition to the UThe Associated Press
Foreigners look at a Huawei computer at a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Canadian authorities said Wednesday that they have arrested the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies for possible extradition to the U

"The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng," the statement said. "Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the U.N., U.S. and E.U."

The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. authorities arrested Meng as part of an investigation into whether Huawei violated sanctions on Iran.

Huawei allegedly broke U.S. sanctions last year by selling embargoed American equipment to Iran, Reuters reported in October.

"U.S. and Canada have not given any reason or clarification for the detention of this individual," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at its daily briefing Thursday.

Wanzhou was arrested while transferring flights in Canada, according to the company. A bail hearing has been tentatively scheduled for Friday, a spokesman for Canada’s justice department told The Associated Press.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Canada said Wanzhou has not violated U.S. or Canadian law and urged for her to be immediately released.

PHOTO: A profile of Huaweis chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is displayed on a Huawei computer at a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. AP
A profile of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is displayed on a Huawei computer at a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018.

"At the request of the US side, the Canadian side arrested a Chinese citizen not violating any American or Canadian law," the embassy said. The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim."

"The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou," it added.

Huawei became the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world in 2017 -- knocking Ericsson out of the top spot, according to a congressional report issued in November called the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review.

The same report discusses security risks posed by Huawei, including a 2012 investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that concluded "the risks associated with Huawei’s and ZTE’s provision of equipment to U.S. critical infrastructure could undermine core U.S. national-security interests."

A profile of Huaweis chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is displayed on a Huawei computer at a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Canadian authorities said Wednesday that they have arrested Meng for possible extradition to theThe Associated Press
A profile of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is displayed on a Huawei computer at a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Canadian authorities said Wednesday that they have arrested Meng for possible extradition to the

Because of alleged security risks to the U.S., Verizon and AT&T stopped selling Huawei smartphones in January, while Best Buy stopped selling Huawei laptops, cellphones and smartwatches in March.

The Chinese company has always denied any claims of using its technology for spying.

The U.S. defense bill, signed by President Donald Trump in August, prohibits the federal government from procuring or obtaining, as well as entering into, extending or renewing a contract with an entity that uses telecommunications equipment or services produced by Huawei.

Trump has also been locked in an escalating tariff war with China in recent months, though the U.S. put a pause on a Jan. 1 tariff increase as they try to work out a new trade deal.

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CComments

  • tet1953

    It's been suggested that she could be used as leverage in trade talks. What are we now, NK?

  • pete mancini

    If American companies have their electronics built in China,How would they not have the technology . I have worked on machinery built all over the world . I have to learn it inside and out or throw it in the garbage. Should you not use the knowledge you've gained because the technology originated in the U.S. ?

  • Liars N. Fools

    So far, pretty, pretty flimsy. Much less than on the complicity of MbS.

  • OtherMrNiceGuy

    It is a fact that China has to manipulate its currency, steal technology and spy on the world through commercial devices to compete.

    Well, the world was stupid when it used a communist nation as its cheap labor factory.

  • ArghONaut

    My suspicion is the real issue with Huawei is they have equal or better technology than the US competitors. The US will not tolerate that and is bent on putting them out of business. This would not be the first time the US government has dealt with 'insidious foreign rivals' in the same manner using anti-dumping, sanctions, or whatever it takes.

  • Calibandawg

    What an interesting article. I am naïve to international law and do not understand how a Chinese national is subject to the penalties delineated by our laws regarding foreign policy. I would appreciate any explanation by some with knowledge on the subject.

  • adamrussell

    China is not going to just let us hold her hostage in trade war negotiations.
    Im going to also guess that Canada will not hand her over.

  • MauiOhana808

    Make America Happy Again!!!!
    Thank you Special Prosecutor Mueller and the grand jury!!!!
    Aloha :^D
    🎄😎

  • adamrussell

    Trump thinks war with China will prevent his impeachment.

  • comments1

    More Trumpian political theater and idiocy designed to keep the followers cheering and chanting while the Iranians largely avoid what are mostly ineffective sanctions.

    The Iranians, Chinese, Russians, and all of our enemies are quite happy as Trump works to destroy our economy and our leadership position in the world.

    If this keeps up the rest of the world will continue to move away from us and will eventually establish diplomatic and monetary systems independent of the US. Then the Trump mission will be accomplished; America will become a backwater country. Even Trump's idiot followers will probably notice when the DOW drops to 2,000 or so.

  • Risbo Lensky

    Winning the 5G race by kidnapping your competitors.

  • adamrussell

    This arrest is a violation of international law.
    US law does not govern China.

  • Rob Ford

    I don't trust China and all western countries should ban all Chinese goods, including those made by American and other Western corporations in China. Vietnam and Cambodia and other south east Asian countries also provide slave labor for companies like Apple, etc.

    I would not want to be an American senior tech executive in China right now.

  • Rob Ford

    I don't

  • adamrussell

    The US believes that US law applies to the entire world.

  • adamrussell

    Trump tanks the stock market again.

  • BobMex

    Why would Canada bow to a US only law?

  • David

    Americans, through our leaders are saying we will forgive murder so we can have cheap gas and Boeing stock can stay high, but we will see our economy tanked for industrial espionage. Aren't we a bunch of moral losers?

  • Juggles

    Well this should get interesting...

  • BJohnNew

    "Canada arrests Chinese CFO on behalf of US authorities ..."
    More "Fake News"!!!

    Donald has clearly told us Canada is a security risk to the US!
    Canada would never betray, China, its long term ally!

  • Marine Dad05

    Trump's new strategy to cause turmoil in Wall Street. Now, the Chinese will freely detain an top brass of any US company.
    From a trade-tariff war this has escalated into detaining company officials.

  • Nearl56 12

    Why do the Chinese have to follow US sanctions law?

    We broke the non-nuke agreement with Iran and are in violation.

    This is a bit ridiculous on the face of it.

    Look for China to retaliate with some other trumped up charges on any US execs.

  • OtherMrNiceGuy

    "The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim."" Hmm... since when did China learn about human rights? What about the rights of those million peoplein your "reeducation" camps?

    Yes, tell us China how very concerned you are about human rights.

  • adamrussell

    China should have patience with the US. All this can be reversed after he is impeached.

  • AnonymousWatches

    Two words stand out as a reason for this: spying and Iran. The Chinese have been taking intellectual property from our corporations from the beginning of our trade and manufacturing relationships. It goes on as we read this article. Small Chinese-based businesses in the US will send small items back to their manufacturing plants to reverse-engineer them. The item is mailed back and returned to the source for a refund. Meanwhile, the plant in China ships the newly developed item for sale here. The US worker here who is part of this may not want to be a whistle-blower for fear of reprisal. They likely quietly find another job with a US company. Chinese citizens working in our national laboratories have been caught traveling back to China with secret information as well. She likely arranged to sell items to sanctioned countries. We'll probably find out when she's returned and charged.

  • pete mancini

    Men can kill anybody they want , But women can't sell cell phones to Iran.

  • adamrussell

    Wars are easy to win
    DJT

  • IMHO

    Yes spying is of great concern. But also of concern is detention without specifying charges or revealing what the wrongdoing was. This is the kind of awful tactics that China is known for not Canada or the USA. The article never indicated what crimes this individual committed. If she is to be held, the charges should be publicized. That's what differentiates us from them.

  • IanPG

    She’s kind of like Ivanka. Her father, Ren Zhengfei, founded Huawei. Like Trump, Ren was married three times and Wanzhou was the daughter of his first wife.

    Wanzhou must have been the favourite of his daughters. Wonder what he will do to spring her from jail.

  • Dukedaddy

    Stock markets are already falling around the world. The American pre-open market is down about 500 points and are expected to plunge even further. Our retirement plans all going in the toilet.

    So much for Trump's great plan to revive of trade with China and improve the economy.

    SAD