HUAWEI'S CFO HAS BEEN ARRESTED AFTER AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE COMPANY ILLEGALLY SELLING PHONES TO CERTAIN COUNTRIES
Huawei's Chief Finance Officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested on Saturday whilst on a connecting flight in Canada.
She has been accused of illegally selling the company's phones and network products to sanctioned countries, such as Iran and North Korea.
Under laws set out by the United States and upheld by the United Nations, it is illegal for any company to trade certain goods with certain countries which are seen as a potential threat to other parts of the world.
Since early 2018, Huawei has been under investigation by the US after it was alerted to the company potentially exporting it's line of phones to Iran, and it is believed this arrest is part of the investigation. Huawei have consistently denied any breach of sanctions.
"Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU," it said in a statement. "We are not aware of any of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng."
It is believed that Canada performed the arrest under US orders, something which the Chinese government has blasted both Canada and the US over. The Chinese embassy in Canada has been holding a protesting demanding Ms Meng is immediately released.
The embassy claims that Canada has arrested a Chinese citizen "not violating any American or Canadian law". "The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms Meng Wanzhou," they added.
Who are huawei?
Their name may not come to mind, however they are a massive player in the smartphone market.
Huawei is a Chinese telecommunications firm who traditionally focused on installing mobile network in and around China, however they are now eyeing up networks in other countries.
They are currently trying to roll out a 5G network across the world and are trying to strike deals with Western countries to gain licenses to be the sole 5G network in that country.
In terms of smartphones, they are the second largest smartphone producer in the world, right behind Samsung and one spot ahead of Apple. This is largely down to their massive presence in China and low price point, however they still have an almost equal presence in the West. Their newest flagship phone, the Huawei P20, has taken the world by storm, and despite fairly poor reviews, can be found in almost every major phone retailer, alongside other phones in the Huawei range.
However, there has been massive speculation that the Chinese government is encouraging Huawei to grow to allow it's spying equipment to be easily distributed.
Several countries have banned Huawei products due to the fears. Just a few days after the arrest, British network operator BT announced it had cancelled plans to work with Huawei on a 5G network, and had removed Huawei products from it's existing 4G network. Other countries such as Canada and New Zealand have done the same.
This arrest may be the final bullet to Huawei's expansion plans.