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Extradition of the Telecom Giant’s Executive: Huawei in the midst of the Trade War

Chinese telecom giant Huawei's chief financial officer and deputy chair, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, 2018, to be extradited per US’s request. While the US has been investigating Huawei over violation of sanctions against Iran, President Trump did not receive any brief about the arrest prior. Meng, daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei has been a prominent figure in the Chinese economy. Her arrest came at a sensitive time just days after Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a trade war truce at the G20 summit end of November 2018. US and China, engaged in a trade war, have imposed duties of billions of dollars on one another's goods lately.

China's embassy in Canada protested at the arrest and demanded Meng’s release. Her detention occurred when she was changing planes -- the Chinese called it wrong-doing, while the US justice department in the Eastern District of New York -- which Huawei said had brought the charges -- declined to comment. Subsequently at the bail hearing in Vancouver, the charges stated how Ms. Meng may have participated in a scheme to trick financial institutions into making transactions that violated United States sanctions against Iran. John Gibb-Carsley, an attorney with Canada’s Justice Department, said that between 2009 and 2014, Huawei used a Hong Kong company, Skycom Tech, to make transactions with telecom companies in Iran, violating US sanctions. Meng claimed Huawei operated in Iran in strict compliance with US sanctions, and that Huawei’s engagement with Skycom was part of normal business operations. She was granted bail by the Canadian court on December 11.

Meanwhile, western countries have been restricting the use of Huawei technology: US, Australia and New Zealand have blocked its equipment in infrastructure for new faster 5G mobile networks. BT, which dominates the UK's telecoms network, said it would not use the Chinese firm's equipment in its key 5G infrastructure. US lawmakers have repeatedly accused Huawei of being a threat to US national security, arguing that its technology could be used for spying by the Chinese government.

Notably Huawei is one of the largest telecommunications equipment and services providers in the world, recently passing Apple in smartphone manufacturing, second only to Samsung. The problem with Huawei is not only that they probably are pirating US technology, but the fact that they are technologically advanced. Furthermore, they provide solutions that are affordable and thus are becoming a threat to the West. If the purpose of the trade war is to attract talent/resources and gain economic advantages, western governments must create their competition edges. Detaining or extraditing executives with or without legitimate reasons will ultimately resemble building a wall around a country forcefully and impetuously. No real solutions to pirating or spying will likely materialize.



中国驻加拿大大使馆对此次逮捕提出抗议并要求释放孟女士。此次拘留发生在她于加拿大转换飞机之时 --中国人非常不满此种错误的做法,而华为所指出之对孟女士提出指控的纽约东区司法部门则拒绝发表评论。随后在温哥华举行的保释听证会上,指控称孟女士曾参与一项欺骗金融机构来进行违反美国对伊朗制裁交易的计划。加拿大司法部律师John Gibb-Carsley表示,在2009年至2014年间,华为使用香港公司Skycom Tech与伊朗的电信公司进行交易,违反了美国的制裁。孟则声称其在伊朗的商业活动乃于严格遵守美国制裁的情况下进行,华为与Skycom的合作乃是正常业务运营的一部分。加拿大法院于12月11日批准了她的保释。



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