Huawei CFO facing US extradition appears in Canadian court

Meng was arrested in Canada on December 1 at the request of the United States. — Reuters pic

Meng is accused of fraud.

A NY court issued an arrest warrant for Huawei Technologies' Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on August 22, asking she be detained to stand trial for U.S. charges, Reuters said, citing documents released during her bail hearing in Canada on Friday.

The US said she had at least seven passports from China and Hong Kong in the last 11 years and that Huawei had tried to move Chinese nationals out of the US if they could be potential witnesses to its Iran operations.

Ms. Meng, 46, began her career with the company as a receptionist in 1993 before entering into the accounting department and moving up the corporate ranks, the court heard. He said her actions exposed the banks to potential fines for violating US sanctions.

If extradited, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, the court heard, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge. They also argued that Iranian sanctions are complex and SkyCom's civilian telecommunications equipment sales likely weren't in violation of any rules.

Her legal team also pointed out that while SkyCom was once a subsidiary, Huawei divested from the company and Meng vacated her seat on SkyCom's board of directors.

The company faces being shut out of Australia, New Zealand and U.S. 5G rollouts, and British telecom group BT revealed on Wednesday it was removing Huawei equipment from its core cellular network.

How arrest of Huawei Technologies CFO extends troubled history with US
Speaking to The Globe and Mail , Canada's Justice Department stated, "Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1". The government cited concerns over Huawei's close ties to the Chinese government, arguing this made it a security risk.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, 46, who is also the daughter of the company founder, was arrested on December 1 at the request of the United States. That information was passed on to federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of NY, the Journal report said. With Washington's previous allegations that Huawei has direct links to the Chinese government, it's not a big stretch to assume Meng's case is another trade war offensive, perhaps a hostage-taking. The lawyer also proposed that Meng could be electronically monitored to ensure she does not take flight.

"As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has been faithfully and strictly implementing all the resolutions adopted by the Security Council", he said. Fleeing would cause Meng to lose "face", Meng's lawyer said.

The company has been under scrutiny for its ties to the Chinese regime, raising concerns in the intelligence circles about the use of its equipment for spying for Beijing.

While it appears that Meng's arrest does not pose an immediate, existential threat to the trade truce, there are longer-term risks to the relationship. Her bond request was debated in a Canadian court Friday, pending her extradition to the US.

Influential tabloid the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily, said that the United States was "resorting to a despicable rogue's approach as it can not stop Huawei's 5G advance in the market".

The European Union and its citizens should be "worried" about telecoms giant Huawei and other Chinese firms that cooperate with Beijing's intelligence services, a senior EU official warned yesterday.

Huawei staff briefed on an internal memo told Reuters on Friday the company had appointed Chairman Liang Hua as acting CFO following Meng's arrest.

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