The Canadian government says it has no intention of suspending the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou to the US.
Meng was arrested in Canada on December 1 and is facing extradition to the US to answer charges of fraud. It is alleged that Wanzhou aided Huawei to avoid sanctions on doing business in Iran, which if proven, could have put multinational banking organisations at risk of breaking those sanctions too.
In 2018, ZTE was banned from working with US suppliers for seven years for failing to adhere to the terms of a punishment for breaching sanctions of trading with Iran. That ruling placed ZTE’s very existence at risk until a settlement was reached.
Huawei Meng Wanzhou
Meng has been granted bail and plans to challenge the extradition request at a court date set for next January, but the incident has exacerbated Huawei’s issues, heightened tensions between the US and China, while also causing a deterioration between Canada and Beijing.
US President Donald Trump has previously suggested he could intervene in the case, likely as part of a trade deal, but the idea of Canada stopping the extradition case had been mooted by former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
However Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has dismissed such a proposal.
“When it comes to Ms Meng there has been no political interference ... and that is the right way for extradition requests to proceed,” Freeland reportedly said in Washington.
“It would be a very dangerous precedent indeed for Canada to alter its behaviour when it comes to honouring an extradition treaty in response to external pressure.”
Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, who has suggested the arrest was politically motivated. Huawei has long been excluded form the US market on national security grounds and last month the US Commerce Department prohibited American firms from doing business with the company.
This means the company’s handsets will no longer receive updates for the Android operating system from Google or access to its popular applications. The consequences of the ruling are far-reaching, with British-based chip designer ARM reportedly telling its employees to suspend all activities with Huawei.
Despite the impact on its smartphone business, the concerns about Huawei are largely based on its networking gear. Huawei has frequently denied all allegations, while the US has never produced any evidence to support its claims.
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