Huawei CFO arrested in Canada, awaits US extradition

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer and second-largest smartphone maker, has been arrested in Vancouver, Canada on suspicion she violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran, as first reported by The Globe and Mail.

Huawei confirmed the news with TechCrunch, adding that Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, faces unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York, where she had transferred flights on her way to Canada.

“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng,” a spokesperson for Huawei told TechCrunch. “The company believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.”

Per The Globe and Mail, Meng, the company’s deputy chairwoman, was arrested on December 1; a bail hearing has already been set for Friday.

Tensions between U.S. authorities and Huawei have been high since 2016 and have taken a turn for the worse as the U.S.-China trade war has heated up. Citing national security concerns, President Donald Trump in August signed a bill that would ban government agencies from using products and services from Huawei and its Chinese competitor ZTE. Meanwhile, in a recent letter addressed to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. lawmakers have encouraged Canada to keep Huawei out of its 5G plans.