Economy

Canada arrests Huawei CFO, to extradite her to US

Canada arrests Huawei CFO, to extradite her to US

The Garratts have since been released after a two-year ordeal, but in light of last Saturday's arrest of Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, concern is rising that other Canadians in China are at risk of being arrested in retaliation.

It comes days after US President Donald Trump reached a truce over trade tariffs with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Thus, the arrest of Meng - which apparently had been planned through coordination by both Canadian and USA authorities - was seen by many hawkish Chinese analysts as a sign that the US government does not really intend to suspend aggressive actions against China.

Details of the arrest have not been released but the United States has been investigating Huawei over possible violation of sanctions against Iran.

Only minimal details are out yet, but as per some sources, she was arrested on December 1st in Vancouver and will have a first bail hearing on December 7th.

"We have made solemn representations to Canada and the U.S., demanding that both parties immediately clarify the reasons for the detention, and immediately release the detainee to protect the person's legal rights", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing in Beijing. But Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper says she is suspected of trying to evade US sanctions against Iran - something USA officials have been suspecting about her company, Huawei, for the last two years.

However, the arrest drew a swift response from China, which said it "firmly opposes and strongly protests" the move, adding it had urged Canada and the U.S. to "immediately correct the wrongdoing".

Meanwhile, Huawei said that it has received little information about the case and was not aware of any wrongdoing on the part of Meng.

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"The company believes the Canadian and USA legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion". Meng was detained in Vancouver but is facing potential extradition to the USA, which had earlier opened an investigation into whether Huawei sold equipment to Iran despite sanctions on exporting there.

Huawei recently surpassed Apple to become the world's second-biggest smartphone-maker behind only Samsung.

U.S. lawmakers have repeatedly accused the company of being a threat to United States national security, arguing that its technology could be used for spying by the Chinese government.

Hong Kong-listed ZTE, which was subject to a USA banning order earlier his year over security fears before that was reduced to a massive fine, was nearly five percent down.

Huawei, the biggest global supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies, has been the target of USA security organizations.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he knew in advance of the pending arrest of an executive for a Chinese tech company but says it was the decision of law enforcement authorities and there was no political interference.

Meng had been widely expected to one day lead the company, which her father Ren Zhengfei created.

Gordon Houlden, director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta, said Canada and the USA have an extradition treaty and Canada has obligations that not even the prime minister can change.

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"This headline is quite significant as the U.S. government is attempting to persuade allies to stop using Huawei equipment due to security fears", said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA.

The U.S. sees Huawei and smaller Chinese tech suppliers as possible fronts for espionage, and as commercial competition.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said USA and Canadian business executives could face reprisals in China.

Canada's cyber security chief, however, said Ottawa was prepared for any possible retaliatory cyber attacks over the arrest. Huawei has repeatedly denied this. Trump restored access after ZTE agreed to pay a $1 billion fine, replace its executive team and embed a USA -chosen compliance team in the company.

China is demanding Canada immediately free a top executive of a giant telecom firm arrested last Saturday on a USA warrant.

Sasse said in a statement that China was "working creatively to undermine our national security interests, and the United States and our allies can't sit on the sidelines".

David Buik, from trading site Core Spreads, said: 'The arrest of Meng, who's also the daughter of Huawei's founder, has rocked Asia-Pacific markets and triggered fresh jitters in Europe and the US.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton has also said he knew about the arrest in advance.

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Senator Ben Sasse earlier linked Meng's arrest to USA sanctions on Iran, which Trump is trying to squeeze economically after withdrawing from a denuclearization deal.


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