Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Meng Wanzhou's rise through the ranks at Huawei

Meng Wanzhou's rise through the ranks at Huawei

Meng Wanzhou, 46, was arrested in Canada last week and is wanted in the U.S. over "fraud offences", a Vancouver court heard during a bail hearing on Friday.

The U.S.is accusing the company of using subsidiary Skycom to do business with Iran, which would bypass sanctions.

Meng, who takes her last name from her mother, received a master's degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhun, China, and started in a low-level position at Huawei in 1993 when she in her 20s.

Meng's lawyer said the Huawei executive would not breach court orders because of her "personal dignity".

The arrest, revealed by Canadian authorities late on Wednesday, was part of a U.S. investigation into an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade American sanctions against Iran, sources say. "Skycom employees were Huawei employees".

A lawyer for Meng denied the allegations, called the charges against her "preposterous", and urged the court to release her on bail.

Meng's arrest comes as the USA continues efforts to convince allies not to use Huawei equipment, especially for 5G networks, which are expected to be rolled out starting next year.

If extradited, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, the court heard, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.

"Meng being released on $1 million bail would be like asking upper middle class Canadian family to cough up $136", she paraphrased the Crown as explaining, before noting that Meng's "father has a net worth of $3.2bn". Huawei has denied violating sanctions.

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The Canadian prosecutor said this was untrue.

But now, after Meng appeared in a BC courtroom on Friday for a bail hearing and the publication ban was lifted, reasons for Meng's arrest are being brought to light.

"I don't know, by the way, that that necessarily spills over into the trade talks", Kudlow said of the legal proceedings, adding: "Well look I think it's a separate track".

Chinese media has blamed her arrest on USA efforts to stop its global expansion, while Huawei said it had "very little information" about the case but was "not aware of any wrongdoing". He argued that her wealth should not disqualify her from getting bail, and suggested use of tools such as electronic monitoring to ensure she stays in the country.

In 2014, British Columbia resident Su Bin was arrested by Canadian officials, on accusations that he had stolen top-secret American fighter jet plans. Meng was arrested on December 1 while changing planes on a trip from Hong Kong to Mexico.

USA and Asian stock markets tumbled after news of Meng's arrest as it was seen to cause another flare-up in tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Huawei, he explained, is one company the U.S. has been particularly concerned about.

Meng is the daughter of Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei.

For a period of time she was in charge of Huawei's successful internationalization efforts.

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