Who is Meng Wanzhou? - The New York Times

When Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities at Vancouver Airport while changing flights in December 2018, she suddenly becam...

When Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities at Vancouver Airport while changing flights in December 2018, she suddenly became one of the most famous inmates in the world.

Her arrest – made at the request of the United States for her extradition for fraud – sparked a storm of recriminations from China, landed Ms. Meng in legal limbo and placed Canada at the heart of a fight between two world powers.

Ms. Meng was a public face of Huawei. She began her career there over 25 years ago and became a senior executive at the company, with responsibilities that included reporting its financial results.

Here’s what you need to know about the Chinese tech leader.

Who is Meng Wanzhou?

A polite 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 Cathy, was born in the western city of Chengdu. After dropping out of high school, she obtained a master’s degree and started at Huawei as a secretary.

Ms. Meng was an important figure in Huawei because it grew rapidly: her job included speaking at public events around the world.

She was stopped on December 1, 2018, at the request of the United States, which requested her extradition and charged her with fraud. Her detention sparked a surge of support in China, where many viewed her as a hostage.

What’s the case against her?

Huawei has grown to become the world’s largest supplier of equipment that underpins the world’s wireless networks. The United States has repeatedly accused the company of stealing technology from Western rivals and says its close ties to the Chinese government make it a national security threat.

In January 2019, the United States unveiled an indictment who, among other things, accused Ms Meng of fraudulently deceiving four banks so that Huawei could evade US sanctions against Iran.

He also accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and obstructing a criminal investigation into what he said were the company’s efforts to avoid those sanctions by destroying or hiding evidence.

How did the case affect Canada-China relations?

Since the day of Ms Meng’s arrest, Canada has said it was legally bound to detain her at the behest of her ally. Beijing saw it differently.

Shortly after his arrest, Chinese authorities arrested two Canadians, Michel kovrig, former diplomat, and Michael spavor, a businessman. Just days after Canada approved Ms. Meng’s extradition hearing, the Chinese government accused them of spying.

The two men were released within hours of announcing the agreement to release Ms. Meng. They had been held for years in secret detention sites in China without access to lawyers or visits from their families. A third Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, was sentenced to death in January 2019 after being convicted of drug trafficking.

All three cases have raised concern in Canada, where many have pointed to Ms. Meng’s relatively mild detention.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Who is Meng Wanzhou? - The New York Times
Who is Meng Wanzhou? - The New York Times
Newsrust - US Top News
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