The US has formally requested the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou from Canada to the United States. Canada received the extradition request on Tuesday, a day before the deadline expired for the US to submit such a request.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the US indictment of not only Meng, but also Huawei, accusing the technology giant of bypassing US sanctions on Iran, and stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile.
Huawei CFO Meng was arrested during a stopover in Vancouver, British Columbia, on December 1 on suspicion of breaking US trade sanctions. Meng and Huawei have denied any wrongdoing.
Via Business Insider…
China has repeatedly decried the move as politically engineered by the US. The Journal reports that Canadian officials have until March 1 to review the request.
The question of Meng’s extradition has sent ripples through Canadian politics. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday fired Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, after he said the US dropping its plans to lodge an extradition request would be “great for Canada.”
Meng’s arrest also prompted retaliation from China, which subsequently detained two Canadian citizens and put another on death row.
A Huawei spokeswoman issued the following statement to Business Insider:
“Huawei is disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company. After Ms Meng’s arrest, the Company sought an opportunity to discuss the Eastern District of New York investigation with the Justice Department, but the request was rejected without explanation. The allegations in the Western District of Washington trade secret indictment were already the subject of a civil suit that was settled by the parties after a Seattle jury found neither damages nor willful and malicious conduct on the trade secret claim.”
“The Company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of US law set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng, and believes the US courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion.”
Via The Hustle…
On Monday, a grand jury charged the world’s largest telecom giant with conspiracy to steal trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, obstruction of justice, and 7 counts of wire fraud.
The indictments follow a 2014 T-Mobile civil suit accusing Huawei of stealing trade secrets related to a robotic phone-testing device known as “Tappy.”
The Chinese company denied any wrongdoing and expressed its frustration for not getting the chance to help clear its name of the charges following the arrest of its CFO in Vancouver, B.C.
Sh*t’s gettin’ spicy
At the end of last year, Huawei Technologies CFO (and the company founder’s daughter) Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada, allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran under charges of a “fraudulent financial scheme.” She still faces extradition to the US.
The story less talked about is ‘Tappy’: From 2012 to 2014, T-Mobile partnered with Huawei and gave it partial access to its phone testing robot. But the DoJ alleges Huawei tasked its engineers working with T-Mobile to take photos, measure the robot, and even steal a part.
The US further alleges that, aside from emails that illustrate these actions, Huawei implemented a “bonus program” in 2013 that incentivized employees to steal competitors’ secrets.
Real life? Or John Grisham novel?
The US government has long fought to keep Huawei out of the market, citing in 2005 that “industrial espionage” is part of China’s strategy for technological development.
Since then, US agencies and lawmakers continue to warn that Huawei poses a major security threat (due to alleged ties to the Chinese government).
There’s only one problem: As of now, “substantial evidence” of these emails doesn’t substantially exist.
Conspiracy? Wei hope not.
As TechCrunch reports, some believe the absence of proof points to the fact the US is worried that China’s role in building out 5G infrastructure could promote spying in the future.
Bottom line: Tensions between US and China have spiraled considerably over the last year, and this only lands the rock further down the hill. If found guilty, Huawei could be faced with a fine of up to $5m.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.