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Huawei's chief financial officer arrested in Canada after US request

Levon Sevunts, DPA on

Published in Business News

MONTREAL -- Canada has arrested the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies at the request of the U.S., authorities said Wednesday.

Meng Wanzhou, who is also deputy chair of Huawei's board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday and is facing extradition to the U.S., Ian McLeod, a spokesman for Canada's Justice Department, said in a statement provided to dpa.

"She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday," McLeod said. "As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time. The ban was sought by Ms. Meng."

The Globe and Mail newspaper cited an anonymous source "with knowledge of the arrest" saying that U.S. law enforcement authorities are alleging that Meng tried to evade the U.S. trade embargo against Iran, but provided no further details.

China's Embassy in Canada said it "firmly opposes and strongly protests" Meng's arrest.

Meng was "not violating any American or Canadian law," an embassy spokesperson said in a statement.

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China has lodged "stern representations with the U.S. and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Meng," the spokesperson added.

According to The Wall Street Journal, prosecutors in New York have been investigating whether Huawei violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The Trump administration has also cited Huawei as a threat to American supremacy in the race to develop the future of mobile communications, the Journal reported in April.

The Trump administration has put pressure on Canada and other allies not use Huawei equipment in their new 5G telecommunications networks.

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