The US authorities have long been investigating smartphone manufacturer Huawei for violating Iran sanctions. Now Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou has been arrested in Canada.
In Canada, the head of finance of the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei was arrested on the initiative of the USA. Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver last weekend, the Canadian Department of Justice said. The US would demand their extradition. According to Huawei, Meng was arrested when she wanted to change trains at a Canadian airport.
The Ministry of Justice did not provide information on the allegations against Meng. According to media reports, the United States suspects the group of violating US sanctions against Iran.
A court hearing with Meng was scheduled for Friday, according to the Justice Department. It should be checked whether the daughter of the Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is released subject to conditions. China, which had just agreed to a “ceasefire” in the US trade dispute, responded to the arrest with fierce protest against both countries.
The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa spoke of a grave violation of the “human rights of the victim”. The authorities would have to correct their misconduct immediately and release the manager. This had violated neither Canadian nor US law. It said it would “take all measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen.”
Huawei said in a first reaction, not to know of any misconduct of the finance director. The exact allegations against Meng are not known to the group. However, the company complies with all laws and regulations in those countries in which it operates. This includes export controls and sanctions from the United Nations, US and EU.
Washington had already fined Chinese network supplier ZTE for alleged sanctions violations, which caused serious business losses. The sanctions against the Chinese group were lifted in July after US President Donald Trump personally intervened and the company paid a billion fine.
The Wall Street Journal reported back in April that US justice had launched an investigation into Huawei. Accordingly, the authorities suspect the telecommunications giant to have at least since 2016 in the US manufactured products exported to Iran. According to the New York Times, it is also about sanctions against North Korea.
In several countries, Huawei is also accused of being too close to the country’s Chinese leadership and security and intelligence services. In particular, the US sees Huawei as a threat to their cyber security and fear that technology of the group could be a gateway for Chinese espionage.
The British telecommunications company BT announced only on Wednesday, to renounce in its networks on Huawei technology. Previously, MI6 had classified Huawei as a potential security risk.
Back in the summer, Australia had banned safety-related warnings that Huawei was shipping 5G technology for wireless networks. New Zealand’s largest telecommunications provider, Spark, was given the condition in November to refrain from using Huawei technology when upgrading 5G. However, this was justified with technical concerns.