China has just made a demand for the lease of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei. This development comes right after Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities on request from the United States law enforcement. As previously reported, there was an indication that Canada was gearing up to extradite Wanzhou to the United States where she would be questioned after allegations that Huawei violated the trade sanctions that the country put against Iran. What has escalated the matter is the fact that Wanzhou is the daughter of the founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei.
According to a comprehensive report by BBC, this move may also mark an escalation of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. Huawei may simply be caught in the middle as the company was trying to make its way in the United States market. This comes days after the United States advised its allies to not use telecommunication equipment made by Huawei for national security reasons. The country had already banned the Huawei telecommunication equipment and smartphone in the country. In addition to that, countries including Australia and New Zealand have already banned Huawei equipment in their telecom industries. A recent report by Reuters also indicated that Japan is also planning to ban Huawei and ZTE from government contracts.
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The report by BBC also stated that stock exchange “indexes across Asia dropped sharply” as shares in Europe “hit a two-year low” immediately after the arrest. Though the market recovered after the initial sell-off.
As previously reported, China was outraged by the move and the Chinese embassy in Ottawa issued a statement adding, “We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”
We have added the complete statement that Huawei issued in response to this development. The company added in a dedicated Facebook post, “Recently, our corporate CFO, Ms. Meng Wanzhou, was provisionally detained by the Canadian Authorities on behalf of the United States of America, which seeks the extradition of Ms. Meng Wanzhou to face unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York, when she was transferring flights in Canada. The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng.”
The company went on to add, “The company believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.”