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Huawei CFO arrested in Canada, facing extradition to the US

VANCOUVER

Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is facing extradition to the United States following her arrest in Canada.

Also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng, Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, CNN reported citing Canadian Justice Department spokesperson Ian McLeod.

Wanzhou, who is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, also serves as the deputy chairperson of the tech giants’ board.

A statement from McLeod stated that Wanzhou “is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday”.

The spokesperson further stated that the Canadian Justice Department cannot divulge any information related to the case as a judge granted Wanzhou a publication ban. The judge prohibited both the police and prosecutors from revealing information about the case.

However, a spokesperson for Huawei said Wanzhou was held by Canadian authorities at the behest of the United States while transferring flights, adding that the company is unaware of any “wrongdoing” on Wanzhou’s behalf.

“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng. 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,” the spokesperson said.

In April, the Wall Street Journal had reported that the US Justice Department was probing Huawei for possible violations of US sanctions on Iran.

The Chinese tech company, which primarily sells smartphones and telecommunication equipment, has been under pressure in a number of countries, including the US, with officials issuing warnings of possible national security risks from Huawei products.

The US suspects the Chinese government of spying on Americans using Huawei’s technology.

In May, the Pentagon had directed stores close to a military base not to sell smartphones made by Huawei and their rivals ZTE, with top officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defence Intelligence Agency telling a Senate committee in February that smartphones from those firms were a security threat to Americans.

However, last month, Huawei had responded to those allegations by saying that their products are trusted in 170 countries and by 46 of the world’s 50 biggest telecommunication firms.

“If a government’s behavior extends beyond its jurisdiction, such activity should not be encouraged. Huawei firmly believes that our partners and customers will make the right choice based on their own judgment and experience of working with Huawei,” the tech giant had said.

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