A Huawei spokesperson said Meng was detained by Canadian authorities on behalf of the United States when she was transferring flights in Canada. Huawei said she faces unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that the US Justice Department was investigating whether Huawei violated US sanctions on Iran.
“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng,” the spokesperson said. “The company believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.”
The US Justice Department declined to comment Wednesday.
Photo: South China Morning Post / Sabrina Meng Wanzhou
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Canada issued a statement urging the United States and Canada to “immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou.”
“We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens,” the statement said.
The Chinese company, which sells smartphones and telecommunications equipment around the world, has been facing increased scrutiny in the United States and other countries, where officials have warned of potential national security risks from using Huawei products. The United States is concerned that the Chinese government could be using Huawei’s networking technology to spy on Americans.
Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, said Americans are “grateful” to Canadian authorities for arresting Meng.
“Sometimes Chinese aggression is explicitly state-sponsored and sometimes it’s laundered through many of Beijing’s so-called ‘private’ sector entities that are in bed with Xi’s communist party,” he said.
Senator Chris Van Hollen — a Democrat from Maryland — said Chinese telecommunications companies “represent a fundamental risk to American national security.”
“We need a comprehensive plan to hold the Chinese and their state-sponsored entities accountable for gross violations of the law and threats to our security,” he said.