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


Canada has arrested the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies who is facing extradition to the United States on suspicion she violated US trade sanctions against Iran. A bail hearing has been set for Friday, a department spokesman told the newspaper.

The Justice Department statement also noted that Meng requested a publication ban, which a Canadian court can order to prohibit publishing within the country certain details of proceedings and trials until they are complete.

Huawei released a statement, noting that it "has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng". Meng adopted her mother's surname.

Huawei is said to be facing a probe by the U.S. Justice Department for violating sanctions against Iran.

The U.S. Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Meanwhile unconfirmed reports surfaced in April that the U.S. was investigating Huawei for possibly violating Iran export bans, a scenario that got fellow Chinese firm ZTE into significant trouble earlier this year.

However, according to the Globe and Mail, she was arrested on suspicion she violated USA trade sanctions against Iran.

The arrest comes as the United States has brought a number of legal cases against Chinese technology firms, with accusations such as cyber-security theft and violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

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However, Trump's administration has been cracking down on Chinese involvement in the American tech sphere, including with draft legislation barring the sale of national security-sensitive technology to China and blocking government or contractors from buying telecommunications equipment and services from both Huawei and ZTE.

One of Huawei's top executives was arrested in Canada today, but the move was reportedly made at the request of the U.S. government.

Sources previously told Reuters that United States authorities had been investigating Huawei for allegedly shipping products to Iran in breach of USA sanctions.

"Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1. The company believes the Canadian and US legal system will ultimately reach a just conclusion".

The US later replaced the ban with a fine and governance changes. USA officials have argued that the company's equipment could create a backdoor into US telecom networks for Chinese spies. And perhaps more importantly, USA officials have urged other countries to ban telecom companies from purchasing Huawei equipment.

According to CNBC, the United Kingdom has also blocked the tech giant from providing key equipment for the development of a 5G network by telecommunications firm BT. Most recently, the U.K.'s BT said it plans to remove Huawei equipment from its core network.

Canada is yet to take any action against the Chinese company's 5G technology.

The U.S. government has been concerned about Huawei for years because of uncertainty over its relationship with the Chinese government.