Huawei CFO is arrested in Canada over Iran links

07 December, 2018, 09:50 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Huawei CFO arrested in Vancouver as US seeks extradition: Justice Department

A top executive and daughter of the founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United States, officials said this morning, angering Beijing days into a trade war truce with the US.

The dramatic arrest of a Chinese telecommunications executive has driven home why it will be so hard for the Trump administration to resolve its deepening conflict with China.

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"Detaining a person without providing an explanation has undoubtedly violated her human rights", Geng said, adding the Chinese government "has made clear our solemn positions to the USA and Canada".

Huawei is the world's biggest maker of equipment for cellular towers and Internet networks, and the company is the world's second most popular smartphone brand.

News of the arrest came the same day Britain's BT Group BT.L said it was removing Huawei's equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the next network.

Ren, 74, founded the Chinese telecommunications company in 1988 and, like his elder daughter, has largely kept a low profile.

"It has been clear for some time that Huawei, like ZTE, poses a threat to our national security", he said. It employs more than 180,000 people and past year had revenue of about $93 billion.

How did the company become so successful?

Huawei derives around half of its revenue from supplying equipment to telecoms carriers around the world.

Huawei is a private company and describes itself as employee-owned.

Huawei is regarded as far stronger commercially than ZTE. In contrast, its major Western rivals, Nokia and Ericsson, have struggled financially in recent years.

Huawei's smaller rival, ZTE (ZTCOF), provides an example of how the United States government could go further.

Tyson Fury serenades media with 'American Pie' song in press conference
He will have woken up this morning thanking his lucky stars that he still has that green and gold belt, which belongs to me'. Listen, I'm not going to take anything from Wilder , he's a great champion and a great man.

Why have some governments banned Huawei equipment?

James Lewis, the director of technology policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Axios the USA should be prepared for a backlash and warned American tech executives to steer clear of China for now. No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the claims. "Certainly other governments also have an equal reason to be mindful and concerned about the espionage intention and capabilities of the west".

Huawei is already under intense scrutiny from USA and other western governments about its ties to the Chinese government, driven by concerns it could be used by the state for spying. Top carriers Verizon Communications and AT&T pulled out of deals to distribute Huawei smartphones earlier this year.

Canada did a similar favour for the Americans in July 2014 when it arrested a Chinese businessman in British Columbia for hacking the data bases of US defence contractors to steal military secrets.

Huawei is racing to develop 5G technology, the fifth-generation mobile network that could be 100 times faster than current technology and spur breakthrough advances in such things as autonomous vehicles.

Nobody knows how China will retaliate if Meng is ultimately extradited to NY to face charges.

Her arrest, revealed late on Wednesday by Canadian authorities, is related to USA sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that USA officials had briefed counterparts in countries including Germany, Japan and Italy on potential security risks from Huawei equipment. He also said her arrest in transit in Canada seemed opportunistic rather than calculated.

As a result, some of the closest allies of the USA, such as the U.K., Australia and New Zealand have banned or restricted Huawei on its 5G networks. "Actually it hurts them to make life difficult" for USA companies.

"This is usually the kind of move China does", says McGregor. Over the weekend, President Trump had tweeted that he was suspending an increase in tariffs after reaching a deal with China.

On Thursday, U.S. stock markets tumbled on fears that the 90-day cease-fire won't last, before regaining most of their losses by the close of trading. A ban on USA component purchases, such as the one temporarily imposed on ZTE, would be devastating, but there is no immediate reason to suggest that will happen.

Still, Huawei's status as a kingpin of China's high-tech industry, at a time when the country is racing to catch up with the hard areas such as chip development, means it will nearly certainly remain a powerful force for years to come.


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