China summons Canada envoy over detained Huawei exec: state media

Dec 09, 2018, 01:00
China summons Canada envoy over detained Huawei exec: state media

If extradited to the US, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud numerous financial institutions, a Canadian court heard on Friday. She is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei, a national champion at the forefront of President Xi Jinping's efforts for China to be self-sufficient in strategic technologies.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's global chief financial officer, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, detained on a USA warrant while en route from Hong Kong to Mexico via Canada.

Ms Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, awaits extradition to the United States and may face as much as 30 years in jail if convicted.

The case was adjourned until Monday by Justice William Ehrcke to allow the defence more time to complete its submissions.

The US case against Ms Meng alleges that Huawei used Hong Kong-based Skycom, which had a presence in Tehran, to do business in the country violating sanctions.

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In January 2013, Reuters reported that Skycom Tech Co Ltd, which attempted to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran's largest mobile-phone operator, had much closer ties to Huawei than previously known. The prosecutor suggested that Meng has shown a pattern of avoiding the USA since becoming aware of the investigation, has no ties to Canada and has access to vast wealth and connections, thus posing a flight risk.

United States prosecutors argue that Meng was not truthful to banks who asked her about links between the two firms, the court heard on Friday.

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Meng, 46, was taken into custody on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, on behalf of the US, while she was transferring flights in Vancouver, the tech company said. The prosecutor said she is accused of fraud. British Telecom, one of the U.K.'s largest internet providers, said this week it will not use Huawei's equipment in its 5G mobile network when it is rolled out in the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.

Huawei operated Skycom as an "unofficial subsidiary", he said, adding that Skycom employees had Huawei email addresses and badges and former employees have said there was no distinction between the two companies.

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The 46-year-old executive was arrested in Vancouver while changing planes, ratcheting up tensions between the United States and China just as the countries' leaders agreed to a truce in their trade war. Huawei said the company had been given "very little information" about the charges and...

The re-imposed sanctions hit oil exports, shipping and banks - all core parts of Iran's economy.

Officials from major U.S. companies who attended the event - a scheduled meeting of the local chapter of the USA department of state's Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) - voiced their concerns about a Chinese reprisal, two people with knowledge of the meeting said.

Although there are some waivers, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the US will "aggressively" target any firm or organisation "evading our sanctions".

A number of attendees said their companies were considering restricting non-essential China travel and looking to move meetings outside the country, one of the people added. Fighting extradition proceedings can take years.

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

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