Huawei CFO's extradition hearing pushed to March

Arturo Kim
February 1, 2019

Late on Monday, public broadcaster CBC said the U.S. had formally requested her extradition, citing Canada's Justice Department.

"Today we are announcing that we are bringing criminal charges against telecommunications giant Huawei and its associates for almost two-dozen alleged crimes", said Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed its concern regarding the charges and implored the United States government to stop the suppression of Chinese companies.

But the NY charges reveal that Ren, whose background as a former Chinese army engineer has long raised red flags in Washington, was questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation years ago, during which he repeatedly lied to U.S. investigators about the nature of the Iran business.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker announces indictments against Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (L), Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (R), and other officials at the Department of Justice in Washington on January 28, 2019. Such actions seriously violate the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen.

As alleged in the indictment, beginning in 2007, Huawei employees lied about Huawei's relationship to a company in Iran called Skycom, falsely asserting it was not an affiliate of Huawei.

It added that it was "not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng [Wanzhou], and believes the USA courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion".

Meng also appeared in a British Columbia court Tuesday concerning her request to change the sureties responsible for her $7.5 million bail, the Globe and Mail reported.

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When T-Mobile threatened to sue the Chinese company, Huawei claimed that this theft was by "rouge actors" within its organization. It alleged the two executives tried to steal robotic technology from US carrier T-Mobile to test smartphones' durability.

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Once that's issued, then an extradition hearing takes place to look at whether the person who's been arrested should be extradited.

Over the weekend, Canada sacked its ambassador to China after he said that he believed the U.S. extradition request was flawed.

Huawei has denied committing any of the violations cited in the United States charges. Meng was charged with bank and wire fraud to violate American sanctions against Iran.

Beijing strongly protested Washington's extradition request of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou and demanded "objective" treatment for Chinese enterprises.

The almost two dozen charges unsealed Monday by the Justice Department accuse Huawei of trying to spirit a robot arm and other technology out of a T-Mobile smartphone testing lab.

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.

Prosecutors also allege that Huawei stole trade secrets, including the technology behind a robotic device that T-Mobile used to test smartphones, prosecutors said. The announcement was made just days before trade talks are set to take place between the United States and China.

All that has further complicated US-China relations amid attempts to defuse a trade war instigated by President Donald Trump and clashes over alleged Chinese theft of trade secrets and other intellectual property from US firms.

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