Huawei’s chief financial officer arrested in Canada for violating US sanctions on Iran: reports
China is demanding the immediate release of Huawei’s global chief financial officer, who was arrested in Canada and is facing extradition to the United States amid reports she violated US sanctions against Iran.
Canada has arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the United States on suspicion she violated US sanctions against Iran, Canadian officials and reports say.
Meng Wanzhou, who is one of the vice chairs on the Chinese technology company’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on December 1 when she was transferring flights in Canada.
A court hearing has been set for Friday, a Canadian Justice Department spokesman, Ian McLeod, said.
Mr McLeod said a publication ban had been imposed in the case and he could not provide any further details.
A US Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
China’s embassy in Canada said it resolutely opposed the arrest and made representations to Canada and the US, demanding her immediate release.
“The Canadian police, at the request of the United States, arrested a Chinese citizen who had not violated any US or Canadian law,” the embassy said in a short statement on its website.
“China has already made solemn representations to the United States and Canada, demanding they immediately correct their wrong behaviour and restore Ms Meng Wanzhou’s freedom.”
The arrest could drive a wedge between China and the United States just days after President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping held a meeting in Argentina where they agreed to steps to resolve a trade war.
Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, said that it had been provided little information of the charges against Ms Meng, adding it was, “not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng”.
US authorities have been probing Huawei since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping US-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of US export and sanctions laws, sources said in April.
Amid escalating technology tensions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at the time that China opposed any country imposing unilateral sanctions based on its own law.
“We hope the US will refrain from taking actions that could further undermine investor confidence in the US business environment and harm its domestic economy and normal, open, transparent and win-win international trade,” Ms Hua said in April.
That same month, Washington barred Huawei rival ZTE from exporting US technology in a separate case over exports to Iran and North Korea.