In the on-going saga of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou facing charges in the US, the Canadian government has decided to allow extradition to the US. The Canadian Department of Justice sent out a press release this afternoon stating that it will allow for Meng to be taken to the US to face charges.
This is just the first step in the process, as Meng has not officially made it to the US to face the charges that are against her. It still needs to go to a judge, who will decide whether she goes to the US or not. That date has not yet been set.
In December, Meng was arrested in the Vancouver airport, while she was on a layover. The US government alleges that Meng defrauded several banks including HSBC and Standard Chartered, in which it concealed payments from Iran which was violating sanctions that the US (and many other countries) have against Iran. This was allegedly while she was on the board of Skycom – a Hong Kong company – from 2009 to 2014.
Huawei, for its part, is not really helping things. It has been under increased scrutiny in the past year, due to the fact that the US government believes that the Chinese government would use Huawei’s products to spy on the US and other citizens in other countries. Of course, having a few of its employees arrested in Europe on espionage definitely did not help out their case.
Recently, the case from many years ago with T-Mobile has also been brought up. In which Huawei was attempting to steal “Tappy”, the robot that T-Mobile was using to test out smartphones. Huawei really wanted to use the technology, and since T-Mobile wouldn’t let them use it, its engineers did what it could to steal the technology, even stealing the robot. The case was settled a couple of years ago, however. But it has been brought back to light, due to recent news around Huawei.
The US has also gone to great lengths to keep other countries that they do business with, from using Huawei’s products. That comes after the US essentially pushed Huawei out of the country altogether. In fact, it is using Huawei as leverage in the approval of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger – making sure that their parent companies don’t use Huawei for their 5G networks in Germany and Japan, respectively.
Meng is still out on bail in Vancouver, staying at one of her mansions that she has. Meng is still waiting to see what will happen next. Now that the Justice Department in Canada has said that the US has provided sufficient evidence for an extradition, she will now have to wait for an extradition court date. Which has not yet been set. After that happens, she will be extradited to the US to face these charges.
Obviously, this is nowhere near the end of the story. Meng was arrested back in December, and it may be a full year before she even gets to the US to face the charges. But Huawei hasn’t taken any chances and has already replaced her as CFO in the meantime.