Huawei CFO arrested in Vancouver as US seeks extradition: Justice Department

Ivan Schwartz
December 6, 2018

China's foreign ministry urged Canada and the U.S. to "clarify" the reason for Meng's detention.

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.

Canadian authorities said Wednesday that they have arrested Meng for possible extradition to the United States.

The Globe and Mail newspaper, citing law enforcement sources, said she is suspected of trying to evade United States trade curbs on Iran. No allegations have proved in court. The CFO reportedly held an internal question and answer session on October 29 alongside her father, Ren Zhengfei, who founded Huawei.

Huawei, the world's biggest network equipment maker ahead of Ericsson and Nokia, has said Beijing has no influence over its operations. China's response has been one of anger, claiming that its citizen's free rights are being violated. Half the company's revenues come from global markets. "The ban was sought by Ms. Meng", the spokesman added.

Yet Chinese government policies enacted in the past year seen as favoring local providers have only intensified suspicion.

"While there was a brief moment of optimism after the weekend U.S".

Several months after Donald Trump signed a bill into law preventing USA government agencies from buying certain products from the Chinese electronics manufacturer, Huawei's CFO has been arrested in Canada.

The arrest, while notable, did not come out of the blue.

Mr. Li said he was "optimistic" those talks would continue.

Markets are so spooked right now that trading on U.S. futures had to be stopped several times overnight after high volatility led to huge price swings.

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The arrest comes at a sensitive time for US-China relations.

"While the Commerce Department focused its attention on ZTE, this news highlights that Huawei is also violating U.S. Law", Van Hollen said in a statement. Under U.S. President Donald Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, Washington has pressured European countries and other allies to limit the use of its technology.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.57 per barrel at 0109 GMT, down 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close. That optimism quickly faded as scepticism grew that Beijing will yield to U.S. demands anytime soon, leading to a steep sell-off in global markets on Tuesday.

On December 5, British phone carrier BT said it was removing Huawei equipment from the core of its mobile phone networks.

Meng's importance at Huawei became apparent in 2011, when she was first named as a board member.

James Lewis, the director of technology policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Axios the USA should be prepared for a backlash and warned American tech executives to steer clear of China for now.

What has Canada said about the arrest?

Anger in China was piqued enough that Zuo Chuanchang, chief research fellow with the Academy of Macroeconomic Research at the National Development and Reform Commission, declined an interview with the Globe and Mail. The exact circumstances of her arrest were unclear. "That could include tit for tat moves against Canadians", he said. "My refusal is a form of protest". Australia and New Zealand have also rejected Huawei's products. China has said it will continue to do business with Iran despite the possible threat of USA penalties.

Meng's arrest drew a quick reaction in Washington. China will "have to do something concrete to show their displeasure", said Phil Calvert, a former Canadian diplomat who is now a senior fellow with the China Institute of the University of Alberta.

Meng was arrested in Vancouver, Canada, on Sunday, and now faces extradition to the United States.

For now, however, much of that rage is being directed at Canada.

Other reports by GizPress

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