The United States asked Canada to arrest the Huawei's chief financial officer (CFO) and daughter of Chinese tech giant Huawei’s founder for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Huawei's executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested on Dec. 1 in Canada and is facing extradition to the United States, dealing a blow to hopes of an easing of China-U.S. trade tensions.
Meng’s arrest occurred on the same day that Xi was meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. The two leaders were said to have reached a cease-fire in the trade war between the two countries, but in the days that followed the meeting, Chinese and U.S. officials have been issuing inconsistent details about the deal they had reached.
The official accusations are not clear, but the arrest is said to be related to violations of U.S. sanctions. According to unconfirmed reports,Huawei chief financial officer was arrested as part of a U.S. investigation of an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran. More recently, the probe is said to have included the company’s use of HSBC Holdings Plc to make illegal transactions involving Iran.
A court hearing has been set for Friday, according to Canadian Justice Department spokesman.
U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker, since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws.
Huawei released a statement stating that Meng was provisionally detained by the Canadian Authorities on behalf of the U.S., which is seeking her extradition to face unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York.
“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng,” Huawei said. “The company believes the Canadian and U.S. 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, U.S. and EU.”
The probe of Huawei is similar to one that threatened the survival of China’s ZTE Corp, which pleaded guilty in 2017 to violating U.S. laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology to Iran.
Earlier this year, the United States banned American firms from selling parts and software to ZTE, which then paid $1 billion this summer as part of a deal to get the ban lifted.
The news about the arrest comes the same day Britain’s BT Group said it was removing Huawei’s equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the next network.
In addition, LG U+, a Korean mobile service provider, has recently decided to use Huawei equipment for its 5G network.