Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Huawei chief financial officer arrested in Canada

Huawei chief financial officer arrested in Canada

Huawei's global chief financial officer was arrested in Vancouver, B.C., on December 1 on suspicion of violation of US sanctions against Iran, according to a report in The Globe and Mail.

McLeod says further details can not be provided on the case because a publication ban is in effect at Meng's request.

Reports appeared in April 2018 that federal prosecutors in NY had an open probe into whether Huawei had violated USA restrictions against Iran.

US authorities have suspected Huawei's alleged involvement in Iranian sanctions violations since at least 2016, when the USA investigated ZTE Corp., Huawei's smaller Chinese rival, over similar violations.

Representatives of Huawei, one of the world's largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters. The U.S. previously banned ZTE, a Huawei competitor, for violating similar sanctions.

In 2007, Ms. Meng served as a board secretary for a Huawei holding company that owned Skycom Tech, a Hong Kong-based company with business in Iran and employees who said they worked for "Huawei-Skycom", according to a person familiar with the matter.

Huawei confirmed the arrest in a statement and said that it has been provided little information of the charges against Meng, adding that it was "not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng".

The Globe and Mail reported the arrest was in relation to sanctions-busting in Iran - rather than any concerns about espionage by the Chinese firm - which has annual revenues of US$93 billion (NZ$135b) and 180,000 employees and is deeply embedded with many New Zealand telcos.

"We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens", the Chinese Embassy said. "The company believes the Canadian and USA legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion".

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.

Huawei's CFO was arrested in Canada, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S.is anxious about the extent to which Chinese-made equipment is used in the telecommunications sectors of countries that host American military bases.

It also produces consumer electronics and this year overtook Apple to become the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world, behind Samsung Electronics.

USA officials have argued that the company's equipment could create a backdoor into US telecom networks for Chinese spies.

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