In a brief announcement released today, Canada’s Department of Justice has announced that it has arrested the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou. According to Canadian government, Meng was arrested on December 1st by request of the United States, who is seeking to have her extradited. A bail hearing is being planned for Friday to determine what will happen next.

Outside of the arrest itself, very little information about the case is being released at this time, in large part because a publication ban that was requested by Meng. Canadian authorities for their part are not providing any details beyond the arrest, and various US news organizations have been unable to get a comment from US Department of Justice officials.

Huawei itself has been increasingly on the rocks with the US for the past year. The company’s handset sales have all but come to a halt after AT&T backed out on a deal earlier this year. Meanwhile unconfirmed reports surfaced in April that the US was investigating Huawei for possibly violating Iran export bans, a scenario that got fellow Chinese firm ZTE into significant trouble earlier this year.

Like ZTE, Huawei relies in part on US technology imports for its products, and per US export regulations, those products are in turn prohibited from being exported to Iran and other restricted nations. In the case of ZTE, the matter was only finally settled after the company underwent an extensive restructuring, as the United States government has made it clear that it intends to strongly enforce its export regulations. If Meng has been arrested for violating these restrictions, then this would mark the start of another significant technology export regulation case for the US.

Sources: Reuters, Associated Press, & New York Times

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  • tamalero - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - link

    I'm a bit confused here. Why the US has any authorization to detain a foreign company dealer for deals done in a third party country?
    Does Huawei actively sold US tech to "embargo" countries?
  • tipoo - Thursday, December 6, 2018 - link

    It doesn't, hence the extradition deal
  • s.yu - Thursday, December 6, 2018 - link

    Huawei has labs in the US, they have some sort of operations in the US as a company and I presume that's the basis for the enforcement of the embargo, but ultimately I believe there are legal grounds for this that "just is" and doesn't have to make immediate sense, it's not like every Chinese law makes sense either but they're there and as long as you have business in China expect them to be enforced.
  • Valantar - Friday, December 7, 2018 - link

    That seems to be the allegation, although nothing is official yet. Most/all Huawei phones (and likely also base stations and other infrastructure hardware) has either US-designed chips or chips with licenced IP owned by US companies inside. All such technology is banned from being exported to a certain list of countries, regardless of the number of in-between links, as per US trade regulations. This is a condition of the sale of the IP/chips in the first place, which binds Huawei to follow US trade law when they sign the purchase agreement - and they would thus be in violation of US trade law regardless where the sale took place. As for your first question, any country can request that another country (particularly ones where some sort of police collaboration exists, which neighbouring countries nearly always have - of course, there's also Interpol, which counts 194 member countries) arrest wanted persons if they are in the second country. Extradition treaties are also very common, and even without those extradition of wanted criminals can often be negotiated. Of course, the only thing allowing the US to request this is treaties already in existence - without that, the other countries would be free to do whatever they wanted.
  • KPOM - Friday, December 7, 2018 - link

    The allegation is that the company evaded the US sanctions by routing payments in the US through a shell company. HSBC in Manhattan flagged the suspicious payments and alerted the US government.
  • tipoo - Thursday, December 6, 2018 - link

    Take her Huawei, boys
  • Ukyo - Thursday, December 6, 2018 - link

    Lol, I see what you did there..
  • nonig - Thursday, December 6, 2018 - link

    Made me chuckle.
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, December 6, 2018 - link

    LOCK HER UP!! LOCK HER UP!! put her next to Manafort.
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Thursday, December 6, 2018 - link

    I kek'd.

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