Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Chinese tech executive lied to evade sanctions on Iran, U.S. charges

Chinese tech executive lied to evade sanctions on Iran, U.S. charges

A court hearing said Meng Wanzhou will be extradited to the United States if convicted.

Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Dec 1 at the behest of the United States authorities and on Friday, she was charged with conspiracy to defraud banks.

The official acknowledged that the arrest could complicate efforts to reach a broader US-China trade deal but would not necessarily damage the process.

The news of her arrest has roiled stock markets and drawn condemnation from Chinese authorities, although Trump and his top economic advisers have downplayed its importance to trade talks after the two leaders agreed to a truce.

The Trump administration has tightened regulations on high-tech exports to China and made it harder for Chinese firms to invest in USA companies or to buy American technology in cutting-edge areas like robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. He said Meng was aware of the U.S. investigation and had avoided the USA since March 2017, even though her teenage son goes to school in Boston. Meng spends two weeks a year in Vancouver, her family owns properties in the area, and she has a 16-year old son at school in Boston.

"You can rely upon her personal dignity", he said, adding that to breach a court order "would be to humiliate and embarrass her father, who she loves".

"The threat from these companies lies in their access to critical internet backbone infrastructure", she said.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, appeared in court on Friday as she sought bail in a case which has sparked a major global dispute between China and the US.

Professor Francis Lui Ting-ming, adjunct professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, believed the United States was aiming to deal a blow to Huawei with Meng's arrest, because the company's 5G technology, which he described as cheaper and better quality, posed a great threat to the American innovation sector. It also says that Meng and Huawei misled American banks about its business dealings in Iran.

In January 2013, Reuters reported that Skycom, which tried to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran's largest mobile-phone operator, had much closer ties to Huawei and Meng than previously known.

"Skycom was Huawei. This is the alleged fraud", said Gibb-Carsley, representing the Attorney General of Canada.

"As the company's vice president and chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou would have been the one who signed off on all documents", Ming said.

The US Department of Justice alleges that Meng allowed Hong Kong-based technology firm called SkyCom Tech to do business in Iran despite economic sanctions against the nation.

The case will likely intensify pressure on the Trudeau government, which is being urged to refuse to allow Huawei products in Canada's next-generation 5G telecommunications networks.

He argued the financial institutions that did business with Huawei were the "victims" of those misrepresentations.

SkyCom employees used Huawei email addresses and its management were Huawei employees, according to the prosecutor.

He said Meng met with an executive of a bank and delivered a PowerPoint presentation in which she said Huawei had sold its shares in Skycom in 2009 and she was no longer a member of its board. "We also require our partners, such as Skycom, to make the same commitments". Others have accused the United States of overreach, asking why Huawei's activities in Iran should be subject to USA laws.

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