Technology

Huawei Executive’s Arrest Draws International Attention

Huawei Meng Wanzhou

Huawei Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou has been in custody of Canadian officials in Vancouver since December 1st. Huawei, one of world’s largest manufacturers of smartphones and networking equipment is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong, South China. Their products and services are found in over 170 countries across the world.

The detention of Wanzhou has been a popular topic among the international business community and those monitoring the ongoing political posturing and tension between China and the United States.

Accusations Against Wanzhou

Huawei Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou has been in custody of Candian officials in Vancouver since December 1st. Huawei, one of world’s largest manufacturers of smartphones and networking equipment is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong, South China. Their products and services are found in over 170 countries across the world.

The detention of Wanzhou has been a popular topic among the international business community and those monitoring the ongoing political posturing and tension between China and the United States.
Ren Zhengfei is Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Huawei and mentored Meng to her current leadership position within the lucrative telecommunications company. However, he is not currently being held responsible for possible fraud committed by Huawei.

The Guardian details the allegations currently lobbied against Meng:

Crown prosecutors allege Meng – the daughter of Huawei’s founder – engaged in “conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions” in 2013 when she attempted to convince bankers that Huawei and a former Hong Kong subsidiary SkyCom were wholly separate entities.

“Ms. Meng personally represented to those banks that Skycom and Huawei were separate, when in fact they were not separate. Skycom was Huawei,” said Crown attorney John Gibb-Carlsey.

Meng was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States and is facing possible extradition. The Canadian Extradition Act outlines the legal guidelines for such a process:

General principle

  • (1) A person may be extradited from Canada in accordance with this Act and a relevant extradition agreement on the request of an extradition partner for the purpose of prosecuting the person or imposing a sentence on — or enforcing a sentence imposed on — the person if

    • (a) subject to a relevant extradition agreement, the offence in respect of which the extradition is requested is punishable by the extradition partner, by imprisoning or otherwise depriving the person of their liberty for a maximum term of two years or more, or by a more severe punishment; and

    • (b) the conduct of the person, had it occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence that is punishable in Canada,

      • (i) in the case of a request based on a specific agreement, by imprisonment for a maximum term of five years or more, or by a more severe punishment, and

      • (ii) in any other case, by imprisonment for a maximum term of two years or more, or by a more severe punishment, subject to a relevant extradition agreement.

“The US seeks her extradition to face multiple fraud charges relating to alleged breaches of US and European Union sanctions against Iran, each carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years,” reports the South China Morning Post.

China’s Reaction

“A notion Canada keeps boasting of is “human rights,” but in this case, one can barely claim that Meng’s right has been respected. Arresting a Chinese citizen during her change of flight without giving any concrete reason is severely violating her legitimate rights and interests,” Xinhua writes concerning the nature of Meng’s arrest. “…The Huawei CFO has health issues like high-blood pressure, sleeping disorders, and is still in recovery from a neck surgery in May. Yet she could not get the necessary humanitarian accommodation from Canada,” they continue.

“Canada has set a dangerous precedent by acting in this manner.
Canada’s misdeeds, which are lawless, unreasonable and callous, have caused serious damage to its relations with China. According to the Canadian leader himself, Ottawa had advance notice of the arrest. However, he chose not to keep the Chinese side informed but connived at the mean deeds, abbetted [sic] America’s unilateral hegemonic move, and hurt the Chinese people’s feelings,” Xinhua claims prior to calling for the immediate release of the Huawei executive.

“I continue to feel unwell and I am worried about my health deteriorating while I am incarcerated,” Meng stated in a sworn affidavit released since she’s been in custody. “While I am a Chinese citizen and normally reside in China, my family has extensive ties to Canada, and Vancouver in particular,” she continued.

According to reports Wanzhou has received cancer surgery in the past and suffers difficulty eating solid food. The Chinese government is using her health condition along with the perceived ‘lawless’ nature of her arrest as the main rationale in calls for her release. The former being an interesting defense since an estimated 2 million Uighurs and Muslim minorities are expected to have been recently forced into ‘political camps for indoctrination’ in China’s Xinjiang province.

At Monday’s bail hearings, Meng’s lawyers suggested electronic surveillance as the proceedings continued. Meng’s incarceration has already caused trade issues between Canada and China.