TOKYO, NNA - Canada has arrested the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies at the request for the United States on suspicion the company violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran, press reports said Wednesday.
The news came amid efforts by the United States and China to avoid escalating their trade dispute, which is feared will further slow global growth.
Wanzhou Meng, deputy chair on Huawei’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday, the reports said.
“Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1. She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday,” Justice Department spokesman Ian McLeod said in a statement.
“As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time. The ban was sought by Ms. Meng.”
A Canadian source with knowledge of the arrest said the U.S. is alleging Meng tried to evade the American embargo against Iran but provided no further details, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported.
U.S. prosecutors in New York have been investigating whether Huawei violated U.S. sanctions in relation to Iran, the paper said.
Washington has expressed concern about using Huawei’s telecommunications equipment, citing spying risks because of the company’s close ties to the Chinese government, the New York Times noted. Huawei has been under investigation for breaking U.S. trade controls on countries including Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, it said.
The Chinese embassy in Ottawa strongly protested the arrest of Meng, saying she had not violated Canadian or American law and demanding her immediate release, according to the Globe.
“The Chinese side firmly opposes to and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim,” the embassy said in a statement.