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  • Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested on an extradition warrant, appears at her B.C. Supreme Court bail hearing along with a translator, in a drawing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Jane Wolsak.

    Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested on an extradition warrant, appears at her B.C. Supreme Court bail hearing along with a translator, in a drawing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Jane Wolsak. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 December 2018
Opinion

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, is facing fraud charges relating to alleged breaking of U.S. sanctions on Iran, a Canadian court has heard.

The chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has been charged with fraud for allegedly breaking U.S. sanctions on Iran.

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Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver, B.C. Saturday and faces extradition to the U.S.

The court is yet to decide whether or not to allow bail, while China has demanded Ms Meng's release, insisting she has not violated any laws. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters: "The detention without giving any reason violates a person's human rights."

"We have made solemn representations to Canada and the US, demanding that both parties immediately clarify the reasons for the detention, and immediately release the detainee to protect the person's legal rights."

On Friday, the Supreme Court of British Columbia was told that Ms Meng had used a Huawei subsidiary called Skycom to evade sanctions on Iran between 2009 and 2014.They said she had publicly misrepresented Skycom as being a separate company. Meanwhile, a Canadian government lawyer said Ms Meng was accused of "conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions".

He said she had lied to US bankers about any direct connections between Huawei and SkyCom, when in fact "SkyCom is Huawei".

Ms Meng faces up to 30 years in prison in the U.S. if found guilty of the charges, the court heard.

The arrest has put further strain on U.S.-China relations. The two countries have been locked in trade disputes, although a 90-day truce had been agreed on Saturday - before news of the arrest came to light on Wednesday.

Huawei is one of the largest telecommunications equipment and services providers in the world, recently passing Apple to become the second-biggest smartphone maker after Samsung.

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