China demands release of Huawei CFO

China has demanded the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, who was detained by the Canadian authorities in Vancouver at the request of the US.

China has lodged solemn representations with Canada and the United States, and demanded the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, who was detained by the Canadian authorities in Vancouver at the request of the US.

The US has sought her extradition to face unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing yesterday that China has lodged solemn representations with the Canadian and US sides, urging the two countries to clarify the reason they detained Meng, immediately release her and effectively protect her legitimate rights and interests.

Meng was provisionally detained by the Canadian authorities on behalf of the US, when she was transferring flights in Canada, Huawei said yesterday.

“The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions, which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim,” the Chinese embassy in Canada said, adding that Meng didn’t violate any American or Canadian law. 

The embassy has made solemn representations to Canada and the US, and urged them to “immediately restore the personal freedom of Meng.”

Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, serves as the company’s CFO and vice chairwoman.

Huawei said it is hoping for “a just conclusion.”

“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoings by Meng,” the company said in a statement, adding that it believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach “a just conclusion.”

The statement also emphasized that Huawei complies with laws and regulations globally, including those set by the United Nations, the US and the European Union. 

Meng joined Huawei in 1993 as a secretary when the company was just a startup. 

She held several positions including that of head of international accounting, CFO of Huawei Hong Kong and head of auditing of Huawei before being promoted as CFO and vice chairwoman of Huawei. 

In 2003, Meng was assigned the task to set up a globally unified financial organization with standardized and unified organizational structure, financial processes, financial systems and IT platforms. 

Since 2007, she was responsible for the eight-year Huawei Integrated Financial Services transformation with IBM, covering resource allocation, operational efficiency, process optimization and internal control construction. 

The new system is regarded as a key part in Huawei’s rapid growth.

Huawei is expected to generate US$100 billion in revenue for the first time this year, compared with last year’s US$92.5 billion based on year-end exchange rates, thanks to 5G and cloud computing.

Huawei is now the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by market shares, ahead of Apple.

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