US To Seek Extradition Of Huawei CFO – Report

America continues to turn the screw against Chinese networking giant Huawei Technologies after it was reported that the US will seek the formal extradition from Canada of CFO Meng Wanzhou.

Wanzhou was arrested in early December by Canadian authorities, acting on behalf of the United States.

China immediately warned of ‘consequences’, and has also warned Canada there will be ‘repercussions’ if it decides to ban the use of 5G equipment from Huawei on security grounds like other Western nations.

Formal extradition

China, it should be noted, has also arrested two Canadian men, an entrepreneur (Michael Spavor) and a former diplomat (Michael Kovrig) last month.

Meanwhile another Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who was jailed for drug smuggling, has also been sentenced to death.

Into this poisonous mix comes the news that the US will seek the formal extradition of the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei.

According to Reuters, Canada’s ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton told the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, that the United States has told Canada it will request Meng’s extradition.

However MacNaughton did not say when the request will be made.

A US Justice Department spokesman told Reuters: “We will comment through our filings.”

It is understood that the US has a deadline of 30 January, as US authorities have 60 days to request extradition after Wanzhou was arrested on 1 December 2018.

Wanzhou was arrested over alleged violations of US sanctions on Iran. She was released on bail last month and is due in court in Vancouver on 6 February.

Trump intervention

The case against Wanzhou deepened new documents were uncovered last week which allegedly show the close links between Huawei and two holding companies at the centre of sanction busting allegations in Iran.

Meanwhile President Trump has signalled his willingness to get involved.

Indeed, Trump has previously said he would intervene if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

When asked if he would intervene with the Justice Department in her case, Trump previously said in an interview with Reuters: “Whatever’s good for this country, I would do.”

“If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump said.

Huawei meanwhile is under severe pressure after a number of countries banned the use of its equipment in the construction of government and 5G networks.

Huawei continues to find itself in the midst of Western bans on the use of its 5G networking equipment over security concerns.

Huawei has always denied claims that its kit is at risk of being used for espionage purposes by the Chinese state.

But matters have not been helped after a former Canadian spy chief said this week that Canada should ban Huawei from supplying equipment for next-generation telecoms networks.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

View Comments

  • Don't quite understand why a Chinese national is subject to US law for an alleged US offence committed outside US territory. If it involved breaking UN sanctions then Canada itself should be taking action, but if this is a US imposed sanction that has no international legitimacy then its wrong.

    There is more than a hint that individuals are being used as political pawns by politicians from Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe by the Iranians to Wanzhou by the US. This is not good for anyone.

    As for the Huawei 5G ban - perhaps Huawei needs to open the source for both the firmware and hardware for inspection and security testing by the US to prove no Chinese state interference.

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