United States makes formal extradition request for Huawei CFO


The U.S. Justice Department reportedly unsealed criminal charges against Huawei, and continues to seek extradition of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou from Canada.

While the charges paint the company as a threat to national security, the Australian chairman of Huawei Technologies believes the telecom giant has simply been caught up in "China bashing". "Those acts were motivated by strong political intentions and manipulation", he said.

USA intelligence chiefs in the hearing said China was the most potent threat politically, militarily and economically to the United States, and that the threat was growing.

"Today we are announcing that we are bringing criminal charges against telecommunications giant Huawei and its associates for almost two-dozen alleged crimes", said Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

Prosecutors say Huawei did business in Iran through a Hong Kong company called Skycom Tech Co (星通技術) and Meng misled U.S. banks into believing the two companies were separate.

In addition, a 13-count indictment charged four defendants, including Huawei and chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, with financial fraud.

Meng, the 46-year-old daughter of Huawei's founder, was detained at the request of the United States Dec. 1, in Vancouver, Canada, where her family owns two homes, one of which she is now staying at.

One of the United States indictments singled out Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng, also known as "Sabrina Meng".

The charges come at a time of increasing global scrutiny and cyberintelligence concerns over Huawei due to allegations that its products could be used by the Chinese communist regime for spying-an allegation the company denies.

There is no allegation Huawei was working at the direction of the Chinese government. The previous round of US-Sino talks was held in Beijing on January 7-9. It has charged several Chinese hackers and intelligence officials. The Chinese telecommunications giant said in a statement on Tuesday that it tried to discuss the investigation with United States prosecutors following the arrest of Meng in Vancouver, but that request was rejected. Huawei said in the statement that the case - which it said is the subject of a civil suit - has already been settled after a Seattle jury found no malicious conduct. She cited that condition in a bail application seeking her release pending an extradition hearing. Her case has set off diplomatic spats between the United States, China and Canada.

The criminal charges in Brooklyn and Seattle come as trade talks between China and the US are scheduled for this week. President Donald Trump said he would get involved in the Huawei case if it would help produce a trade agreement with China. 'The difference in understanding will bring about complicated problems'.

In an indictment of Huawei on charges of theft of trade secrets, fraud, and obstruction of justice released on Monday by the DOJ, the Chinese tech giant was accused of offering bonuses to employees who could successfully pilfer confidential information from other firms.

It gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate for the charges against Huawei, China's first global tech brand and the biggest maker of switching gear for phone and internet companies. But it is viewed as being too close to Communist Party of China.