Huawei CFO arrested on suspicion of violating US sanctions against Iran

The Chinese company condemns the arrest in a statement, as well as decisions in the UK and New Zealand to block Huawei from upcoming 5G networks amid alleged espionage fears.
Huawei, US, United States, Canada, Iran, Sanctions, Meng Wanzhou, Ren Zhengfei, UK, Britain, BT, EE, 5G, New Zealand, Aotearoa, Spark, Australia, News, Business, 3G, 4G, Mobile, China

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Huawei has released a statement following the arrest of its CFO at the request of US law enforcement.

Meng Wanzhou, the Chinese telco’s global CFO and daughter of founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday. According to Canadian news outlet The Globe and Mail, Wanzhou was arrested on suspicion of violating US trade sanctions against Iran.

CommsMEA contacted Huawei requesting comment regarding the arrest of Wanzhou. In a statement, Huawei global said the following:

“Recently, our corporate CFO, Ms. Meng Wanzhou, was provisionally detained by the Canadian Authorities on behalf of the United States of America, which seeks the extradition of Ms. Meng Wanzhou to face unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York, when she was transferring flights in Canada.

“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng. The company believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion.

“Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.”

Wanzhou’s arrest comes days after British telco BT Group decided to remove Huawei equipment from its mobile carrier EE’s 3G and 4G networks and prohibit it from bidding for its planned 5G network in the UK, according to the Financial Times.

Huawei also released a statement regarding the BT news.

“Huawei has been working with BT for almost 15 years. Since the beginning of this partnership, BT has operated on a principle of different vendors for different network layers. This agreement remains in place today. Since it acquired EE in 2016, the BT Group has been actively bringing EE’s legacy network architecture in line with this long-standing agreement. This is a normal and expected activity, which we understand and fully support.

“Huawei began working with EE in 2012. As part of this collaboration, we provided EE with a series of innovative and competitive 3G and 4G network solutions, including core network equipment. We have never had a cyber security-related incident. Huawei has a robust cyber security assurance system and a proven track record. Our products and solutions serve customers in more than 170 countries and regions, including major carriers, Fortune 500 companies, and hundreds of millions of individual consumers. We have earned the trust of our partners across the global value chain.

“As BT noted, ‘Huawei remains an important equipment provider and a valued innovation partner.’ Working together, we have already completed a number of successful 5G trials across different sites in London, and we will continue to work with BT in the 5G era.

“Cyber security should not be politicalised, and equipment vendors should not be treated differently based on country of origin. Today, the ICT supply chain is highly globalised.

“Limiting one vendor does nothing to help the industry more effectively identify and address cyber security threats.”

Additionally, New Zealand and Australia have also stopped Huawei from supplying 5G equipment, citing security risks. Earlier this year, the US government refused use of Huawei equipment and has also tried to convince allied countries to block Huawei, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Huawei also released a statement regarding the decision last week in New Zealand by telco Spark to prohibit the use of Huawei.

“Huawei is aware of Spark’s statement, and we are looking into the situation.  We will actively address any concerns and work together to find a way forward.

“As a leading global supplier of telecoms equipment, we remain committed to developing trusted and secure solutions for our customers. Huawei’s 5G equipment is already being deployed by major carriers around the world. Moving forward, we will continue to provide our customers with innovative, trusted, and secure 5G solutions.”

In the Gulf, Huawei is working with telcos in the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia on 5G testing and roll out.

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