Chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies faces extradition to the United States after she was arrested in Canada, Canadian officials said Wednesday.
Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive who is also the daughter of the tech giant’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, according to Canada’s Department of Justice.
A bail hearing has been set for Friday. The department declined to provide other details, citing a publication ban. US Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi declined to comment on the matter.
A spokesman from the Chinese Embassy in Canada confirmed the arrest of Meng and said in a statement that Beijing “strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim.” China has lodged a protest to the United States and Canada, urging them “to immediately correct the wrongdoing,” the spokesman said.
Meng was arrested when she was transferring flights in Canada, said Huawei spokesman Chasen Skinner.
“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng,” Skinner said. “The company believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion.”
Meng is expected to face charges in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.
US authorities have been investigating Huawei since 2016 for violations of export controls and US sanctions related to Iran and other countries. It is unclear how Huawei might have violated sanctions.
The arrest comes at a tense moment in US-China relations. Over the past year, China and the United States have engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war that has shaken markets around the world and hurt ties between the world’s two largest economies.President Donald Trump last week met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina, hashing out a trade war cease-fire. But just days after they met, Chinese and US officials relayed conflicting details about the deal. The panel also urged that the federal government block mergers of US firms with the two Chinese companies after reviewing their alleged ties to Chinese military and intelligence agencies.
The firms are caught up in a global competition with the United States for control of the world’s burgeoning 5G telecommunications networks.
On Wednesday, British telecom firm BT has said it will not use Huawei equipment in its 5G network. Last week, New Zealand did the same. In August, Australia banned Huawei and ZTE from its 5G networks.