In a move that looks to have a very negative impact on already struggling US-China relations, Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanghou, the daughter of the major technology company’s founder, was captured by the Canadian government at the behest of the United States.
Meng will reportedly be extradited to the United States in a move built around allegations that the company is violating US sanctions against Iran. Canada has refused comment beyond the detention, saying all they know is she faces “unspecified allegations” in the US. China’s embassy has protested to both Canada and the US over the matter.
The US has been intermittently moving against Huawei in general, accusing the company of stealing US technology. In recent weeks, the US State Department has been heavily lobbying the world not to allow Huawei’s involvement in cellular network upgrades to 5g.
There is no sign, as of yet, that Meng had any unusual connection to US sanctions violations, and her arrest seems to be entirely to do with her prominent role at Huawei itself. Huawei is the world’s second largest phone maker, and a major supplier of mobile infrastructure. US complaints about Huawei likewise appear to be limited on specifics, and built mostly on vague allegations and the supposition that a Chinese company is necessarily untrustworthy.