Huawei CFO loses major battle in extradition fight

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., leaves the Supreme Court in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Tuesday October 1, 2019.

Trevor Hagan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou has lost a major legal battle in the fight against extradition to the United States to be tried on fraud charges.

In its ruling on Wednesday, the British Columbia Supreme Court found that the case against Meng meets a standard called “double jeopardy”, where the acts with which the United States has charged her are also illegal in Canada. The next phase of the proceedings will start next month.

Diplomatic tensions escalate as Meng, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, has to stay in Vancouver on bail during a lengthy extradition process.

Shortly after the court ruling, the Chinese foreign ministry urged Canada to release Meng immediately and secure his return to China. the Global Times, who is aligned with the Chinese Communist Party, blamed the United States for the move, saying that Canada’s judicial and diplomatic independence had come under “American intimidation”.

Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications provider, has been a flashpoint for the Trump administration’s commercial battles with China. Shortly after Meng’s arrest in December 2018, President Trump weighed in on the extradition case, telling Reuters he could consider “intervening” in the affair if it would help the US-China trade war. On Wednesday afternoon, a law providing for sanctions against China was passed by both houses of Congress; President Trump has not said if he intends to sign it.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has also targeted Huawei. It blocked semiconductor shipments to the company by chip manufacturers. This follows the administration’s decision to keep Huawei on the list of U.S. entities, a blacklist that restricts U.S. companies doing business with the company. The ban hits Huawei’s bottom line. The company said it experienced slower revenue growth in 2019

Huawei said it was “disappointed” with the decision and maintained Meng’s innocence.

Meng is back in court on June 15.

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