Who is Meng Wanzhou? – the new York Times
When Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities at Vancouver airport in December 2018 while changing flights, she suddenly became one of the world’s most famous detainees.
Her arrest – carried out at the request of the United States for her extradition on fraud charges – sparked a storm of accusations from China, put Ms Meng in legal custody, and put Canada in the middle of a fight between the two world powers. Put.
Ms. Meng has been a public face of Huawei. She began her career more than 25 years ago and became one of the company’s top executives, with responsibilities that included announcing its financial results.
Here’s what to know about the Chinese tech executive.
Who is Meng Wanzhou?
A sophisticated executive, Ms Meng is the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei and the eldest daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei.
Ms. Meng (pronounced “mung”), who also uses the names Sabrina and Kathy, was born in the western city of Chengdu. A high school dropout, she earned a master’s degree, and started out as a secretary at Huawei.
Ms Meng was a key figure at Huawei as it rapidly expanded: her work included speaking at public events around the world.
He was arrested on December 1, 2018 at the request of the United States, which asked for his extradition and charged him with fraud. His detention sparked a wave of support in China, where many viewed him as a hostage.
What is the case against him?
Huawei has become the world’s largest supplier of equipment based on the world’s wireless networks. The United States has repeatedly accused the company of stealing technology from its Western rivals, saying its close ties with the Chinese government make it a threat to national security.
In January 2019, the United States unveiled a comprehensive indictment that, among other things, accused Ms Meng of fraudulently defrauding four banks so that Huawei could evade US sanctions against Iran.
It also accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and obstructing a criminal investigation, which it said was the company’s attempt to evade those sanctions by destroying or concealing evidence.
How did the case affect Canada-Chinese relations?
Since the day of Ms Meng’s arrest, Canada has said it is legally bound to detain her at the request of its colleague. Beijing saw things differently.
Soon after his arrest, Chinese authorities arrested two Canadians, Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman. Just days after Canada approved Ms Meng’s extradition hearing, the Chinese government accused her of espionage.
The two men were freed hours after the deal for Ms Meng’s release was announced. They were kept in secret detention sites in China for years, with no facilities to meet lawyers or their families. A third Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, was sentenced to death in January 2019 after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges.
All three cases raised alarm in Canada, where many pointed to the comparatively quiet detention of Ms Meng.
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