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HUAWEI CFO freed on $7.5m bail in Canada, must wear ankle bracelet
Update, 12/12/2018, 05:31 ET: HUAWEI chief financial officer Wanzhou Meng has been freed on bail following her arrest in Vancouver earlier this month. The high-ranking executive was granted bail of 10 million Canadian dollars ($7.5 million), Reuters reported.
“I am satisfied that on the particular facts of this case… the risk of her non-attendance in court can be reduced to an acceptable level by imposing bail conditions,” the presiding judge was quoted as saying.
As part of her bail conditions, Meng is required to wear an electronic ankle bracelet and stay at home between 11PM and 6AM, according to the outlet. Five of Meng’s friends reportedly pledged money and equity in their homes to ensure she wouldn’t flee the country.
U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters that he would intervene in the country’s case against the executive if it would help in a trade agreement with China or if it was a national security matter.
Previous coverage, 12/06/2018, 03:48 ET: One of Huawei’s top executives has been arrested in Canada, but the move was reportedly made at the request of the U.S. government. The Globe and Mail states that Wanzhou Meng, HUAWEI’s chief financial officer, was arrested in Vancouver, British Columbia. A bail hearing for her has been set for Friday, Dec. 7.
According to an official statement from a Canadian Justice Department spokesperson, the U.S. government is seeking to extradite Meng from Canada to the United States. The report adds, via an unnamed source, that the U.S. believes Meng was trying to circumvent the current U.S. trade embargo with Iran, although details about this alleged violation were not revealed.
HUAWEI issued a statement regarding the arrest of Meng via its official Twitter account earlier today.
The statement reaffirmed Canadian officials arrested Ms. Meng on behalf of the U.S. and that the U.S. is seeking extradition. HUAWEI said it has been provided with “little information” regarding the arrest and that the charges haven’t been specified. The company also said it “is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng.”
HUAWEI has reportedly been under investigation by the U.S. government since April for shipping products with parts owned by U.S. companies to countries that are under a U.S. trade embargo, including Iran. Federal lawmakers and departments have been critical of the China-based HUAWEI in the past, claiming that the company’s phones and telecommunications products could be used to spy on citizens by the government of China. HUAWEI has repeatedly denied these accusations in the past.
The U.S. government banned another China-based smartphone company, ZTE, from using U.S.-based parts in its phones earlier in 2018 due to a similar trade embargo issue. However, that supply ban was later lifted, due in part to intervention by U.S. President Donald Trump. ZTE did still have to pay a $1 billion fine.