U.S. calls for Huawei executive to face fraud charges

Chinese Tech Exec Faces 30 Years in Prison in U.S., Canadian Prosecutor Says

Chinese telecom giant Huawei's chief financial officer, arrested in Canada, faces U.S. fraud charges for allegedly lying to banks about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of sanctions, a bail hearing heard Friday.

Banks in the US cleared money for Huawei, but unbeknownst to these financial firms, they were conducting business with Skycom in contravention of the sanctions, the lawyer said. While unproven, the allegation was enough to take action against the company, including a ban on Huawei products in United States military bases in May.

A day-long hearing was adjourned until Monday, when the judge is expected to render a decision on bail.

News of the detention in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, tech giant Huawei's chief financial officer, rocked markets across the globe.

A lawyer for Meng denied the allegations, called the charges against her "preposterous", and urged the court to release her on bail. He asserted that there was no discussion on the record or behind closed doors about the arrest of a top Huawei executive or about American companies operating in China. Huawei has said "the company has been provided with little information regarding the charges and it's not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng".

Canada is not providing further details about the case because of a court-ordered publication ban.

If she is released on bail, she has agreed to surrender her passports and submit to electronic monitoring until she is discharged or surrendered for trial to the United States.

However, commenting on the negotiations between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, the left-leaning American MSM referred to the seeming ambiguity of the US-Chinese agreement, saying that the Chinese were "puzzled and irritated" by Trump's bravado in Twitter following the talks.

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Fears that the detention of Huawei's CFO may derail the already divisive trade talks between the United States and China is contributing to high volatility for the USA stock market this week. Crown prosecutors argue Meng violated section 380 of Canada's criminal code, which pertains to fraud.

She is specifically accused of lying to a USA bank, identified by her lawyer as "Hong Kong Bank", about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of sanctions.

Separately, Huawei said on Friday that it "categorically" rejected any allegation that the company poses a security risk, adding that it has "never been asked by any government to build any backdoors or interrupt any networks".

The outpouring of conflicting sentiments - some Chinese have demanded a boycott of USA products while others have expressed anxiety about their investments in the United States - underscores the unusual, politically charged nature of the Trump administration's latest move to counter China's drive for technological superiority. Martin identified the firm as HSBC Holdings Plc, but he disputed the USA allegation that Meng misrepresented anything to that financial institution.

Canadian officials have said Ottawa was continuing to review Huawei´s technology for use in upcoming fifth-generation networks. -China trade relations caused stocks to sell off on Friday, with technology shares leading the decline. While the USA routinely asks allies to extradite drug lords, arms dealers and other criminals, detaining a major Chinese executive in this manner is unusual.

On TV and social media, commentators likened her arrest to the hypothetical detention in China of a Mark Zuckerberg sibling or a cousin of Steve Jobs.

On Friday, there were reports that Tokyo appeared to be the latest country that plans to ban the purchase of Huawei products. The story caused concern among banks that did global business with Huawei, he said. He said it was a positive sign that China was willing to discuss core issues related to intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and computer hacking of US companies.

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