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The “heiress” of Huawei is already free.
After nearly three years under house arrest in Canada, Huawei’s chief financial officer – and daughter of the founder of the Chinese tech giant – has been released and traveled to China after years of diplomatic tensions over her case.
Meng Wanzhou was detained in December 2018 at the request of the United States on charges of fraud when she arrived in Canada, and it was announced this Friday that she and US authorities they had reached an agreement to suspend the trial for fraud against her.
The US Department of Justice withdrew the extradition request it had requested against her, although it has continued to prepare the trial against Huawei, which is still pending. a commercial blacklist.
The United States alleged that Meng misled HSBC about the true nature of Huawei’s relationship with a company called Skycom, putting the bank at risk of violating US sanctions against Iran.
The release of Meng, 49, comes in exchange for public acknowledgment of these allegations by the executive.
“By accepting the court deferral agreement, Ms. Meng is assuming her responsibility in a plan to defraud a global financial institution,” prosecutor Nicole Boeckmann said. referring to HSBC.
“Over the past three years, my life has… radically changedMeng told reporters after his release became known.
“Every cloud has a beam of light,” he continued. “I will never forget all the get well wishes I received from people all over the world.”
The case of the senior executive tense relationships between the two largest economies in the world and Canada.
Shortly after Meng’s release and departure from Canada became known, the government of Justin Trudeau announced that two Canadians arrested in China had also been released and were on their way to their home countries.
Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor had been imprisoned in the Asian country since 2018 and the trial against them was seen by Beijing as retaliation for what happened to Meng. The Chinese government has always denied this.
Accusations against Huawei
Meng is the eldest daughter of billionaire Ren Zhengfei, who founded Huawei in 1987 and grew it into one of the largest technology companies in the world.
Huawei has been accused of allegations that Chinese authorities could use its equipment for espionage, something Beijing denies.
In 2019, the US imposed sanctions on Huawei and placed it on an export blacklist, excluding it from key technologies.
The UK, Sweden, Australia and Japan have also banned the use of Huawei technology, while other countries, including France and India, have taken steps to rule out a complete ban.
A few days after Meng was arrested in 2018, China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on suspicion of espionage.
In Canada, they then accused China of treating them as… political currency, used them as part of what’s known as “hostage diplomacy,” something Beijing also denied.
Last month, a Chinese court sentenced Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison.
Canada rejected the ruling, saying the businessman’s trial did not even meet the minimum standards required by international law.
Speaking at a press conference this Friday, the Canadian Prime Minister said that both have a… “incredibly difficult ordeal.”
“It is good news for everyone that they are back home with their families,” he added. “Over the past 1000 days you have shown strength, perseverance, resilience and softness.”
Kovrig is a former diplomat employed by the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank.
Spavor is a founding member of an organization that facilitates international business and cultural ties with North Korea.
Like many of Huawei’s top executives, until his arrest Meng Wanzhou kept up a low public profile†
However, more intimate details of his life were revealed in court following his case.
Meng went from answering phones to running the finances of the world’s second largest cell phone manufacturer in less than two decades.
In 1993, he started his career as a receptionist and, after obtaining a master’s degree in accounting from Huanzhong University of Science and Technology, he joined the ranks of Huawei in 1999, where he rose through the ranks of China’s largest private company†
Once in the finance department, she was named CFO of the company in 2011, and promoted to vice president a few months before her arrest.
The promotion sparked speculation that Meng Wanzhou was being primed to lead the company.
In 2018, Forbes magazine ranked her as the 12th most powerful female executive in China.
change of last name
Until shortly before his arrest, his ties to his father and Huawei founder Ren Zhangfei were unknown.
At the age of 16, in a highly unusual move in Chinese tradition, Meng Wanzhou he took his mother’s last nameMeng Jun, who was Ren’s first wife.
Chinese executives working abroad often adopt a Western name for their overseas activities, so Meng Wanzhou is also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng.
Meng, who has four children and has been married twice, testified in court that he lived in Canada until 2009, when he returned to China.
Two of her children attended school in Vancouver between 2009 and 2012, while her husband studied for a master’s degree in that city.
After the kids graduated, Meng spent “many weeks, sometimes months” in Vancouver over the summer, the affidavits explained.
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