Ren Zhengfei, founders of Huawei, has spoken out about the arrest of his daughter and chief financial officer (CFO) for the company, Meng Wanzhou. Zhengfei has stated that the arrest of Wanzhou by the US is “politically motivated”.
As a quick recap, Wanzhou was arrested in Canada last year. The CFO was charged with fraud, spying, and violating US sanctions against Iran. Specifically, Wanzhou had specifically engaged in trade with Iran through a Hong Kong-based subsidiary known as Skycom. Through Skycom, Wanzhou channelled money from US banks directly to another Skycom branch in Iran. Therefore circumventing US sanctions.
Since her arrest in Canada, the US has been pushing for Wanzhou’s extradition to the country, where she will be tried for multiple sentences. With each sentence carrying a maximum penalty of 30 years.
Zhengfei also addressed spying allegations brought forward by the US, stating that his company will “never undertake”any spying activities. Ironic, given the recent report on how the Chinese giant reportedly incentivises and rewards its employees for bringing back sensitive information of competitors’ products.
It also doesn’t help Huawei’s case that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged the company with similar charges. As well as urging several of its key allies to refrain from using any of the brand’s technology for fear of spying.
Whatever the charges, it’s safe to say that Huawei still has some cards to play against the US. The brand is still one of the major telecommunications equipment in the world, giving it some form of leverage against the country. If anything, Huawei has said that it could “downsize” itself in order to sustain itself such attacks.
There’s also the possibility of Huawei shifting the majority of its investments away from the US and into the UK, where the latter’s government officials have voiced out against a full ban against the company. Despite the allegations.