China Has Detained 13 Canadians As Retaliation For Arresting Huawei's CFO

Since the Canadian government arrested Huawei's CFO, Meng Wanzhou last month, China has sought retaliation and has reportedly detained about 13 Canadian citizens that were entering China. Canada said in a statement that "at least" eight of the 13 individuals had been released. However, it did not disclose whether any charges were filed by China. The Canadian government has said that it sees no link between the arrest of Huawei's CFO last month, and the detentions of these Canadian citizens, though it does seem like its a "tit-for-tat" thing for China here. Which would not be surprising, as it has done this sort of thing in the past, one instance is with President Trump and his tariffs. China has been demanding that Canada release Meng, and if they don't, that there would be some consequences, though they did not specify what the consequences might be.

Canada arrested Meng at the request of the United States

On December 1, the Canadian government arrested Meng during a layover at Vancouver airport, at the request of the US. President Trump stated that he might use this as a way to get China to play fairly when it comes to trade, and actually make a trade deal. But that is not why she was arrested, Trump says that if letting her off the hook would help break through the trade deal, then he would step in. Though the real reason that she was arrested was due to Huawei dodging the sanctions that the US has against Iran and North Korea. Huawei is not the first Chinese company to violate these sanctions recently either. ZTE did the same thing recently, and its US business was  virtually put out of business in the process. That is something that Huawei definitely doesn't want to happen, though it doesn't have much of a business in the US at this point. Meng was eventually released on December 11, with bail set at $11 million CAD (about $7.4 million USD). She also must also wear an ankle monitor and stay at home from 11PM to 6AM, but she is able to stay at one of her two multi-million dollar homes in Vancouver.

For Meng, things are pretty serious. Canada and the US have an extradition agreement, so Canada can extradite her to the US to face charges and that is something that President Trump is looking to make happen. But that doesn't mean it would happen. However, Canada and Huawei do get along quite well. In fact, Canada is one of the only countries on this side of the world that actually uses Huawei's products. Huawei is responsible for a number of the networks in Canada, and it also sells a number of its smartphones in Canada on various carrier networks. So For Canada, it's a pretty sticky situation. Either they risk alienating the US (though the US has been working hard to alienate Canada recently) and don't extradite Meng to the US. Or they risk getting on Huawei's bad side, which isn't something they want to do either. Considering the fact that Huawei is such a big player in the country, and it's North American headquarters are based in Canada as well.

Huawei isn't expecting to have Meng back to do her day-to-day job duties anytime soon. Even though she is the daughter of Huawei's co-founder, the company has named a replacement for Meng until her legal troubles are over. It appointed its chairman, Liang Hua as acting CFO for the time being. Depending on how long it takes for Meng's legal issues to be cleared up, they may be looking for a new CFO.

US State Department has issued a travel advisory for Americans traveling to China

In light of what's going on between Canada and China, the US State Department decided to issue a travel advisory for China. It has been increased to "exercise increased caution", and this is "due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws." The Advisory also informs US citizens heading to China, about it's "exit ban" practice, and that could keep citizens in China for years, they could also be detained without access to consular services or information about their "alleged crime". China's foreign minister did speak about the travel advisory on Friday, stating that China welcomes all foreigners, including Americans, also noting that China safeguards their safety and legal rights, however it does also expect visitors to abide by the law.

Part of an ongoing issue between the US, Huawei and China

For many years, the US has been trying to push Huawei out of the country. It feels that due to its ties to the Chinese government, that it could use Huawei products to listen in on what Americans are doing. Of course, this is something that the US government already does with the NSA. Now there have been numerous investigations into this, and nothing has been found. But since Trump took over as leader of the free world, Huawei has been pushed out of the US repeatedly, with the biggest setbacks coming in 2018. Forcing carriers to drop support for Huawei, and making sure they do not use Huawei network gear on their upcoming 5G networks. In fact, as part of the review process for the Sprint and T-Mobile merger, the FCC is reportedly forcing SoftBank (the largest telecom company in Japan, and parent company of Sprint) to stop using Huawei in Japan, if it wants this merger to go through. Now that seems a bit heavy handed, but the merger is happening in the US, so it does have jurisdiction there.

Huawei has said that this is all due to the fact that Samsung and Apple are afraid of competition in the US. Those two have the US locked down pretty tight, partly due to the carrier contracts that they have, allowing them to really sell a ton of smartphones in the US. Huawei is now the second largest smartphone maker in the world, having shipped 200 million handsets in 2018. So it's easy to see how Samsung and Apple might be afraid of some more competition in the US. Though both companies have denied any part in this.

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Alexander Maxham

Section Editor
Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]