Huawei CFO may face formal extradition to US, says report

The US is reportedly preparing to seek the extradition of Huawei’s chief financial officer from Canada.

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Techhnews

The US will formally request the extradition of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou from Canada, according to a Monday report.

Canada’s ambassador to the US, David MacNaughton, discussed the impending request with the Toronto-based Globe and Mail but didn’t say when it’ll happen. The deadline for filing is Jan. 30 — 60 days after Meng’s Dec. 1 arrest, Reuters noted.

China reportedly demanded that the US drop its request, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying saying Canada’s extradition treaty with the US infringed on the “safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”

Meng is both an executive of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei. She was arrested in Vancouver at US request over alleged violations of Iran sanctions. She was released on bail last month and has a Feb. 6 court date in Vancouver.

Last week, her father made his first public statements to foreign media since 2015 to deny allegations that his company had a role in Chinese spying and to praise President Donald Trump (who was apparently unaware of the plan to arrest Meng).

Tensions between Canada and China have grown since the arrest, with China reportedly warning last week of repercussions if the Canadian government banned Huawei from supplying technology for the country’s 5G rollout.

China also detained two Canadians — diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor — in the days following Meng’s arrest, and a Chinese court sentenced Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death in a sudden retrial of a drug smuggling case.

Last summer, Huawei overtook Apple to become the world’s No. 2 phone seller (behind Samsung), despite many of its devices being unavailable in the US.  The US government and its contractors are also restricted from buying certain telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from Huawei and a handful of other Chinese communications companies. 

Neither Huawei, the US Justice Department nor the Canadian Justice Department responded to requests for comment.

First published Jan. 22, 7:03 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:29 a.m. PT: Adds more background on Huawei.

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