Meng Wanzhou (also known by her Anglicized name of Sabrina Meng), the CFO of the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday. The arrest was made during a change of flights.
She is being sought by the United States for unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York, according to a statement by Huawei to the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Meng has previously been under investigation for efforts to violate sanctions against Iran while on the board of Skycom Tech. That was in 2008 and 2009; she was again implicated in efforts to violate sanctions by Huawei in April of this year.
There have also been concerns about potential espionage by Huawei due to the company’s strong ties to China’s ruling party. With that in mind, the U.S. has been requesting allied countries to exclude China from the development of new 5G network technology, and has been warning them about potential spying issues with existing telecommunication devices produced by the company.
Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and Huawei is an internationally prominent Chinese business. Her arrest and likely extradition has immediately produced a strain on the relationship between Canada and China, and is expected to undermine the negotiations toward a trade truce between the U.S. and China.