The United States announced Monday it is filing criminal charges against Huawei Technologies of China. The move is the latest in an ongoing feud between America and the largest maker of telecommunications products in the world. The announcement was made just days before trade talks are set to take place between the United States and China.
The filings by the Justice Department include charges against Huawei and Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the company. The allegations are the company used a subsidiary to hide the fact it violated sanctions the United States placed against Iran.
A second case against the telecommunications company accuses Huawei of stealing robotic technology from the U.S. company T-Mobile.
Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder. She was placed under arrest December 1 in Vancouver, Canada. The Chinese government retaliated almost immediately by arresting two Canadian citizens living in China.
Meng is due in court Tuesday to discuss changes the court plans to make to the terms of her bail.
The Justice Department in Canada informed media sources a formal request for Meng’s extradition had been received from the United States.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed its concern regarding the charges and implored the United States government to stop the suppression of Chinese companies.
Wilbur Ross, U.S. Commerce Secretary said the charges are a completely separate issue from the scheduled trade talks. However, it is difficult to believe the development will have no effect on the tension that will already surround the talks.
The Canadian Minister of Justice has 30 days from the receipt of the extradition order to decide if Meng will face extradition proceedings. At this time, Meng would appear before a Supreme Court in British Columbia for a hearing. The wait for the extradition hearing could be a few weeks to a few months.
Huawei manufactures base stations, routers, and other telecommunications equipment. The company does more than half of its business outside of its home country of China.
President Trump has urged American companies to not purchase equipment from Huawei due to fears the company can use the equipment to spy on its customers.
Ren Zhengfei is the founder of Huawei and he denies that either he or the Chinese government have used any of his company’s products to spy.
Huawei is the largest supplier of 5g technology on the planet. The company boasts of 30 contracts with major buyers across the globe. Eighteen of these contracts are in Europe, nine are in the Middle East, and three in Pacific Asia.