Huawei CFO arrested in Canada for reportedly violating U.S. sanctions against Iran


The chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada at the request of the United States over alleged Iran sanctions violations.

In April, China appealed to Washington to avoid damaging business confidence following the Wall Street Journal report that US authorities were investigating whether Huawei violated sanctions on Iran amid spiraling technology tensions.

Mark Warner want Canada to follow the US and Australia and block Huawei from supplying equipment that would connect Canadians to the high-speed mobile network known as 5G.

Huawei is one of the world's leading makers of telecommunications network equipment.

Meng is a prominent member of Chinese society as deputy chairman of the board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

This story is developing.

A Canadian source with knowledge of the arrest said US law enforcement authorities are alleging that Ms. Meng tried to evade the USA trade embargo against Iran but provided no further details. American prosecutors are seeking to have her moved to the United States as it investigates whether the company broke trade sanctions against Iran.

Huawei said its relationship with Skycom was "a normal business partnership", and said its business in Iran was in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Similar moves are under consideration in the U.K. The U.S., which believes Huawei's equipment can be used for spying, is contacting key allies including Germany, Italy and Japan, to get them to persuade companies in their countries to avoid using equipment from Huawei, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

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"The ban was sought by Ms. Meng", continued the statement.

The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Canada said that it resolutely opposes Meng's arrest and demands her immediate release.

The Wall Street Journal reported back in April, that the United States authorities have been probing the Chinese telecommunication giant at least since 2016 for allegedly circumventing the Iranian sanctions and supplying US-origin products to the Islamic Republic.

A spokesperson from the federal Justice Department said the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies was arrested.

Most recently, the U.K.'s BT said it plans to remove Huawei equipment from its core network.

Huawei later said the HP equipment was ultimately not provided to Iran either by Huawei or Skycom, Reuters said.

That same month Washington barred Huawei rival ZTE Corp. from exporting USA technology in a separate case over exports to Iran and North Korea.

In May, the Pentagon banned the sale of Huawei phones on military bases. Huawei also didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Huawei, for its part, has denied sharing information with the Chinese government, as has ZTE.