Huawei Technologies Co.’s Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng has been arrested in Vancouver,Canada in connection with potential violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran.The arrest comes after the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation in April into whether the smartphone and telecommunications giant sold equipment to Iran despite sanctions on exporting to the region.
The arrest was made on behalf of the U.S and Meng who is also the deputy chairwoman of the company and a daughter of the founder could be extradited to face unspecified charges in New York.
Huawei released a statement saying,“The company believes the Canadian and U.S. legal system 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, U.S. and EU.”
U.S. authorities in 2016 began voicing concerns that Huawei and others could install back doors in their equipment that would let them monitor users in the U.S. Huawei has denied those allegations. The Pentagon stopped offering Huawei’s devices on U.S. military bases citing security concerns. Best Buy Co., one of the largest electronics retailers in the U.S.also recently stopped selling Huawei products.
In August, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill banning the government’s use of Huawei technology based on the security concerns.
Also in August, Australia banned the use of Huawei’s equipment for new faster 5G or fifth-generation wireless networks in the country and New Zealand last week did the same citing national security concerns.
Similar moves are under consideration in the U.K. as the U.S. believes Huawei’s equipment can be used for spying is contacting key allies including Germany, Italy and Japan, to get them to persuade companies in their countries to avoid using equipment from Huawei.
In 2016, the Commerce Department sought information regarding whether Huawei was possibly sending U.S. technology to Syria and North Korea as well as Iran.
In spite of all these challenges Huawei has overtaken Apple as the No. 2 global smartphone maker shipping more than 52.2 million units its third quarter according to research analyst Gartner Inc.