Huawei 'not aware of any wrongdoing' by CFO arrested in Canada

Roman Schwartz
December 6, 2018

Canadian law enforcement has arrested Wanzhou Meng, Huawei's global chief financial officer, on the suspicion that she violated US trade sanctions against Iran, according to a Globe and Mail report.

Canada's Globe and Mail reported Meng was arrested for violating USA sanctions against Iran.

Canadian authorities for their part are not providing any details beyond the arrest, and various US news organizations have been unable to get a comment from US Department of Justice officials.

Meng, 41, was tipped by some mainland China media as a leading contender to succeed her father, Huawei's founder Ren Zhengfei to take the helm of the telecom giant.

Meng, who is also a vice chair on Huawei's board, was arrested on December 1 in Vancouver.

This story is developing.

A statement released from the company said that Meng was being detained by Canadian authorities to face "unspecified charges" in the Eastern District of NY. The tech company said it complies with all laws and rules where it operates.

One of Huawei's top executives was arrested in Canada today, but the move was reportedly made at the request of the USA government.

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"Huawei has little information about the accusation against Meng and is not aware of any misconduct involving her", Guo Ping, deputy and rotating chairman of Huawei, wrote on his WeChat social media account.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that US authorities are investigating whether Chinese tech giant Huawei violated sanctions on Iran.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand were among the nations to ban the use of Huawei's equipment due to security concerns.

A spokesperson from the federal Justice Department said the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies was arrested.

News of the arrest came on the same day that BT announced it would be removing Huawei-manufactured equipment from its 3G and 4G mobile networks.

In 2016, the Commerce Department sought information regarding whether Huawei was possibly sending US technology to Syria and North Korea as well as Iran. News of the probe broke in April 2018 when it was reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In May, the Pentagon banned the sale of Huawei phones on military bases.

Huawei, which sells telecommunications and computer electronics equipment, is the world's second largest maker of smartphones, behind South Korean giant Samsung. For example, a management company that was controlled by Huawei's parent company in 2007 held all of Skycom's shares, and Meng at the time was that management firm's company secretary, Reuters reported. Huawei has denied the links.

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