Canadian authorities in Vancouver have arrested Huawei Technologies Co.’s top representative at the request of the U.S. for alleged violations of Iran sanctions, the latest move by Washington against the Chinese cellular-technology giant.
A spokesman for Canada’s justice department said Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 and is sought for extradition by the USA. However, Huawei complies with laws and regulations everywhere it operates.
A bail hearing has been tentatively scheduled for Friday, according to the spokesman. Ms. Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, also serves as the company’s deputy chairwoman.
The arrest comes at a critical juncture in U.S.-Chinese relations. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last weekend agreed to a temporary truce in a trade spat to negotiate a settlement.
The U.S. regime has raised other concerns with China, ranging from spying to intellectual-property theft to Beijing’s military posture in the South China Sea. China has said its actions are appropriate.
China strongly protests the arrest and has urged both U.S. and Canadian officials to free Ms. Meng, according to a statement released by the Chinese Embassy in Canada. Ms. Meng was arrested at an airport during a layover.
In 2007, Ms. Meng served as a board secretary for a Huawei holding company that owned Skycom Tech, a Hong Kong company with business in Iran and employees who said they worked for “Huawei-Skycom,” according to a person familiar with the matter.
U.S. authorities have suspected Huawei’s alleged involvement in Iranian sanctions violations since at least 2016, when the U.S. investigated ZTE Corp., Huawei’s smaller Chinese rival, over similar allegations.
Huawei is the world’s biggest maker of equipment for cellular towers, internet networks and related telecommunications infrastructure. It is also the world’s No. 2 smart phone brand.
Some of America’s closest allies, including most of the countries in the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing pact among Anglo-Saxon countries, have followed the nation’s lead. Australia in August banned Huawei from its 5G networks.
Last week New Zealand blocked one of its major wireless carriers from using Huawei. In Britain, BT Group PLC said that it was removing Huawei equipment from its network, two days after a British intelligence chief questioned whether the country should be using the Chinese gear.
BBC / ABC Flash Point Blog News 2018.