Good evening, it’s Friday and it’s been a busy week of Huawei news, which is what we’ll start with tonight
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer for Huawei Technologies, appeared in a B.C. courtroom this afternoon for a bail hearing where Crown lawyers argued she should be extradited to the United States because she had committed fraud by trying to hide her company’s connection to an Iranian telecom company. The Crown alleges that, in 2013, Ms. Weng told American banks that Huawei had no connection to a Hong Kong firm called Skycom that was reportedly doing business with Iranian telecom companies, when in fact Skycom effectively was a subsidiary of Huawei. “Ms. Meng personally represented to those banks that Skycom and Huawei were separate, when in fact they were not separate,” he said. “Skycom was Huawei,” argued Crown counsel John Gibb-Carsley. Ms. Meng was arrested last weekend at the Vancouver airport by Canadian authorities at the request of the United States.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Steven Harper said he supports the U.S. campaign to persuade Canada to ban the use of Huawei equipment in next-generation telecommunications equipment. Mr. Harper told Fox News that during his final years as Prime Minister, he had become concerned about companies such as Huawei and another Chinese telecom-equipment manufacturer called ZTE. “These are organizations, ultimately tightly tied to the Chinese security apparatus, and we think there are some real, serious issues there,” Mr. Harper said.
So, what does it all mean? We’ve published a few analytical pieces and explainers over the past few days, the most recent of which is from The Globe’s Asia correspondent, Nathan VanderKlippe, who explains how the growing friction around trade, telecommunications and now the arrest of Ms. Meng is part of a concerted effort by the United States to push back against China’s rising power. And Canada is caught in the middle.
China, though, is not happy about Ms. Meng’s arrest, likening it to kidnapping. Some U.S companies are quietly discussing restricting travel to China because they’re concerned about retaliation against American firms and their executives.
Be sure to check the Globe’s website this weekend as more details and reaction to the story surface. We’ll be updating our Huawei explainer as the story continues to develop in the next days and weeks.
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