Friday, 14 December, 2018

Huawei's Meng Wanzhou faces charges in Canadian court

Chinese Tech Exec Faces 30 Years in Prison in U.S., Canadian Prosecutor Says Huawei exec faces US fraud charges linked to Iran, court hears
Deanna Wagner | 08 December, 2018, 14:29

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the company's founder, was arrested last Saturday in Canada. This year, it dethroned Apple as the world's second largest smartphone maker.

Meng entered the courtroom in downtown Vancouver at 10:25 a.m. local time, wearing a green sweatsuit and accompanied by her lawyer.

Currently, China is referring to Meng's arrest as "hooliganism", said Ong, adding escalating rhetoric from China or the USA could be a gamechanger.

The US and Chinese tech industries depend on each other so much for components that "it is very hard to decouple the two without punishing US companies, without shooting ourselves in the foot", said Adam Segal, cyberspace analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations. According to a company bio, Meng has been involved in a number of Huawei restructuring moves, including centralizing and improving its finance and accounting departments as the company expanded.

He pointed out that Article 43 of the Regulations for Administration of Mobile Broadband Businesses (行動寬頻業務管理規則) states, "When a competent authority decides on a system development plan, it shall cooperate with the national security considerations of the relevant authorities".

The company has appointed chairperson Liang Hua as acting chief financial officer following Ms Meng's arrest.

Huawei, he explained, is one company the USA has been particularly concerned about.

The surprise arrest, already denounced by Beijing, raises doubts about whether the trade truce will hold and whether the world's two biggest economies can resolve the complicated issues that divide them.

It has charged that Beijing has stolen trade secrets, violated patents, hacked industrial targets and forced United States companies investing in China to hand over their technology to Chinese partners.

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"These are organizations, ultimately, tightly tied to the Chinese security apparatus, and we think there are some real, serious issues there", Harper said.

China has demanded the chief financial officer's release and labeled her detention a "gross violation of human rights".

As of 2015, Canadian businesses had 531 locations across China spanning several sectors, including energy, education and agriculture, according to data compiled by researchers at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

The Chinese firm has recently faced scrutiny, mainly in Western states.

For now, the Huawei executive will remain in Canada.

Richard Harris, chief executive of Port Shelter Investment Management, suggested that while the arrest will likely blow over and not affect the negotiations between the USA and China, "it serves to highlight how toxic the Huawei brand has become in the West".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that the detention of Chinese technology giant Huawei's HWT.UL chief financial officer in Canada was an example of "arrogant" US policy overseas. "And we may see (Chinese retaliation), which will embitter relations".

Martin said two properties in Vancouver worth a total of $14 million could be put up for bail, and electronic monitoring and surveillance-based security could be used, although he said neither would be necessary. Martin identified the firm as HSBC Holdings Plc, but he disputed the US allegation that Meng misrepresented anything to that financial institution. "They probably will take their revenge in other ways, which are not so straightforward".