Meng Wanzhou, the embattled Huawei Chief Financial Officer who hasn’t been at her post for nearly four months now, with her prospects of returning to it looking grimmer by the day, has plenty of reasons to be displeased with her latest visit to Canada that was supposed to only take an hour or so in early December as she was switching flights on her way to Mexico, yet turned into a diplomatic incident unlike any other in recent memory.
Adding to the 47-year-old’s pile of misery is a new revelation stemming from her arrest made on the request of the United States Department of Justice; as it turns out, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei and one of the key people at the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer with a seemingly infinite portfolio of Android devices – is quite a big Apple fan.
Canadian authorities seized a trio of devices from Ms. Meng as part of her arrest at the Vancouver International Airport: an iPhone, iPad, and a MacBook Air, a rather modest choice if such a thing exists within Apple’s walled ecosystem. A court filing cited by Bloomberg reveals that the devices in questions are already a subject of a rather contained dispute between Canadian prosecutors and Ms. Meng’s legal team. The Chinese side is trying to obtain a copy of all contents found on the devices, presumably encrypted as Ms. Meng surely had the common sense not to have her electronics laying around unlocked. Afterward, her legal representation wants to see the three gadgets sealed, as written in their request.
The Canadian government doesn’t appear to be overly concerned with the troubled industry veteran’s desires, having already arranged for her devices to be handed over to the competent British Columbia Supreme Court Registry. There, authorized Ottawa officials will review whether a solicitor-client privilege Ms. Meng’s defense is using as the basis for the request holds up to a sufficient degree, i.e. the one that would see the filing honored.
Ms. Meng wasn’t entirely free of Huawei-made devices when she ended up being detained on suspicion of various international crimes; a Mate 20 RS Porsche Design was confiscated from her as well, with the device in question being the most powerful mobile gadget released by the Chinese firm to date, though it will be losing that title to the P30 line scheduled for a Paris launch tomorrow. That’s still a rather poor ratio of Apple-to-Huawei devices, especially for a top executive of a company known for demoting workers using iPhones. It was only last year that Huawei overtook Apple by handset shipments and sales, seizing the number two spot in the global market for the first time ever, with the Cupertino-based tech giant now being its closest rival.
As for other electronics, Canadian authorities found several SIM cards and a ScanDisk flash drive on her person.
Her apparent admiration of Apple devices does not add much intrigue to the already endlessly curious care of Ms. Meng as she is a tough executive to a get a read on; not even her CFO tenure at Huawei is public knowledge as the Shenzen-based firm only revealed the list of its top executives back in 2011. That lack of transparency is one of the main gripes Washington holds against it, though its susceptibility to Beijing‘s control remains the main reason preventing the company from making any progress in the U.S. market.