- Huawei’s CFO accused of Iran sanctions violation, planning to produce evidence that got accepted before.
- China-USA relations on the verge of the cliff, with Canada entering the same risk due to the arrest.
- Court’s decision on the granting of the $1 million bail expected to play a critical role now.
Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou has got to learn the nature of the accusations made against her during the first day of the hearing that followed her arrest at the Vancouver airport on December 1. The prosecutors made claims of fraud committed by her when she was a board member of SkyCom, a company who did business with Iran between 2009 and 2014. Providing tech to Iran is forbidden for companies who collaborate with US banks, so the prosecutors consider SkyCom to be violating Iran sanctions indirectly since it’s an unofficial subsidiary of Huawei.
Now Meng Wanzou’s line of defense will be based on the production of a five-year-old PowerPoint presentation that she had developed when similar allegations against her where made in Hong Kong back in that day. Huawei’s CFO aims to prove that SkyCom is an entirely separate entity, while the prosecutors will have to convince the court of the opposite by producing evidence of the connections between the two companies. For now, neither of the sides have revealed too much as we are early in the hearing process anyway.
The arrest of such a high-profile person though has resonated throughout all aspects of China’s foreign policies and relations with Canada and the US. The tension between China and USA was building up lately anyway, with suspicions of Huawei orchestrating and carrying out intelligence eavesdropping in the US recently leading to the ban of the brand in the country’s infrastructure. Wanzou herself had stopped visiting the United States during the past year, although she was previously frequently traveling there, possibly because she feared an arrest.
The tension with Canada though is something new, as Huawei was already developing interconnected 5G networks there, and enjoys partnerships with numerous Canadian universities and telecommunication companies such as Telus. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has previously downplayed the possibility of risking their good relations with China, while at the same time Canadian officials say that they were under obligation to arrest Wanzou due to an extradition agreement with the US. However, the stance that China will take on the matter is still not clear as the developments have still quite some space to unfold in.
One of the critical factors that will play a crucial role in how things will develop from now on is whether Huawei’s CFO will be given the $1 million bail that her defense lawyer asked for. The prosecutors object this as they believe that Wanzou would leave to China if the bail request was granted, so the process will be stopped indefinitely. The defense lawyer opposed to that by highlighting the Chinese ethical conduct and how his client would never shame her father or embarrass China by fleeing the country before the trial.
Do you believe that the accusations made constitute the real cause of the arrest or just an artificial causation to help lay the ground for further probe in Huawei’s eavesdropping activities? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and share this post by visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages.