Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has now come forward to claim the company never withheld any information from U.S. banks in direct opposition to allegations leading to the company's ongoing legal battles in the country. Responding directly to questions about the activity alleged in the claims of U.S. prosecutors, the CEO says that the banks were provided with all pertinent information and had full knowledge of all those business activities.
Mr. Ren Zhengfei says that his daughter, the company's CFO, even managed to secure meetings with at least of the banks' officials over coffee, leveling his own allegations asserting information being withheld would clear the company of at least one of its charges. According to the executive, bringing the discussion between his daughter and the bank official to light would make the case against the company and his daughter "very clear."
Why is this important?
The assertions brought by Huawei's chief executive officer would, if true, have a high-level of impact on proceedings against the company and against CFO Meng Wanzhou. In large part, a significant portion of both cases hinges on whether or not the company or its representatives lied about Huawei's activity in Iran through subsidiary Skycom.
Dealings with Iran or companies operating in Iran are restricted due to strict sanctions against the company by the U.S. government.
Huawei and Ms. Weng center around two primary claims. The prosecution claims in two separate cases that Huawei and its CFO are guilty of committing bank and wire fraud as well as conspiring to commit bank and wire fraud. The case against Huawei is already underway and proceedings in a bid to extradite Ms. Meng from Canada to the U.S. to face charges have been stealing headlines since she was arrested in the country in December at the request of the U.S.
If the CFO and other Huawei officials did not lie in a bid to get funding, the case against either would be severely weakened.
In the meantime, Huawei has had some difficulty in addressing the allegations due to concerns about whether it has or may be acting as a puppet for the Chinese government. Some evidence and information surrounding the case has been deemed too 'sensitive' for the public and vital to national security.
Prosecutors have fought and recently succeeded in further restricting Huawei's access to evidence from the two cases as well. That's in combination with a still-unresolved claim that the lead attorney in the case against Meng Wanzhou should be dismissed on the grounds of a conflict of interest.
Just one among other problems facing the company
Huawei also faces scrutiny in its networking business and restrictions around the globe in its access to core areas of various countries' networks, particularly as that concerns the incoming wave of 5G. In the U.S. the company's networking equipment and even the company itself have effectively been banned outright.
Meanwhile, the CEO of the company claims that those issues are restricting Huawei's ability to operate entirely and that it has no time or interest in playing politics or involving itself in tensions between the U.S. and China. Instead, Mr. Ren says that his efforts need to be centered on keeping the company moving forward.