Meng Wenzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer and the second-largest maker of smartphones, has been arrested in Canada on suspicion of violating US trade sanctions against Iran.
According to the newspaper The Globe and Mail, the vice president of the company was arrested on December 1 and has already set a hearing for Friday. Meng is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, and joined Huawei in 1993.
It is not the first time that Wenzhou is immersed in a scandal. In 2013, Reuters discovered that Meng was on the board of directors of Skycom Tech, a company that offered to sell HP equipment to Iran in late 2010 with the apparent blessing of Huawei. It is said that the agreement was never carried out, but it could have caused problems for Huawei and Skycom. It is unclear if the arrest is connected to the 2010 sale or if it is a separate issue.
Tensions between the US and Huawei authorities have been constant since 2016 and have worsened as the trade war between the United States and China has intensified.
In August, President Donald Trump signed a bill that would prohibit government agencies from using Huawei and ZTE products and services because of fears about a possible risk to national security. On the other hand, in a recent letter addressed to the Canadian Prime Minister, US lawmakers have encouraged Canada to keep Huawei out of its 5G plans.