back to article Funnily enough, China fuming, senator cheering after Huawei CFO cuffed by Canadian cops at Uncle Sam's request

The arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou earlier this week is sending shockwaves through both the US and China. Meng, who was collared by Canadian authorities at Vancouver airport at the request of American prosecutors, is now facing extradition to the US, where she will, it is believed, face allegations she broke sanctions on …

Marketing Hack
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/Reaches for the popcorn bowl...

This is going to be a bumpy, but interesting, ride.

Mark 85
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Re: /Reaches for the popcorn bowl...

Get the extra large bowl and have some backup available. I have feeling this isn't going to a short affair.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: /Reaches for the popcorn bowl...

In more than one way than you think.

There is some refresh on the info in the article:

1. She was arrested on the 1st. 5 days earlier. China knew immediately and a 5 days quiet spat has failed to resolve this.

2. She is probably a dual citizen with her second citizenship being CANADIAN. Hence - the Vancouver connection.

This calls for some additional popcorn deliveries and it looks like the wholesalers are out of stock.

If a person can be arrested on the mere suspicion of sanction busting based on an American request, what about people under sanctions themselves.

In fact, some outfits have suggested this is a dress rehearsal for bigger fish. Abramovich, Vexelberg and co may need to pay some extra attention exactly where they park their boats in the incoming year.

BillG
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Mushroom

Huawei in Hot Water

According to rumors the allegation is that Huawei violated U.S sanctions against Iran by buying sanctioned goods either directly or indirectly from the U.S. and then authorizing the reselling of the goods to Iran.

Certain types of technology (for instance semiconductors with strong encryption) can be purchased from the U.S. only under strict contract conditions that they not be resold to embargoed countries which includes Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Burma, Côte d'Ivoire, Congo, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, and Somalia.

To make an arrest there is probably a paper trail, like something with her signature on it. Huawei might have resold the embargoed goods directly, or sold products with the embargoed goods inside.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

The idiot-in-chief strikes again.

The only good thing here is that the Canadians were likely duped, they were probably told this was a normal criminal case, not a political nightmare. And that means once Canadian politicians get involved, she'll get to go home.

The rest of the world is trying to save us from ourselves and keep the Iranian nuclear deal alive. That orange moron apparently thinks a nuclear armed Iran is a good idea.

Let's hope the world survives this. He's going down hard when he goes, let's hope it's in an orange prison jumpsuit, not a giant orange fireball for all of us.

FozzyBear
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Black Helicopters

The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim

WOW, my Hypocrisy meter blew a fuse on hearing that one.

Yes Me
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human rights of the victim

Hypocrisy? Not sure. The Chinese concept of human rights is very different from the West's. In their logic, this comment may be entirely appropriate. Apart from anything else, as pointed out re the earlier story on this arrest, it's based on US claims of jurisdiction gone mad.

Let's hope the Canadian courts throw out the extradition warrant. If they show the same degree of independence that NZ courts have shown over Kim Dotcom, this could all take a while.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

@FozzyBear - You're wrong.

Using national security concerns to grab a high-ranking executive outside the US borders is not the right way of doing it. If China decides to do the same it will be much worse, believe me. I wouldn't want to be a US businessman traveling to China and I really hope they have all left the country with their families.

In case you're young or not remembering the events I can recall it for you: during the Balkan war when the US bombed "by mistake" the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, something nasty happened to US embassy in Beijing and consular offices in other cities. It's an interesting eye opening reading and you can look for it on the Interwebs.

All this is to stop the Chinese competing in the 5G arena where they are perceived as having a certain advance.

As for Canadian PM saying this move is not politically motivated, this will not fool anyone, not in Canada and not anywhere else. Unlike his father his utterly naive to say the least.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: @FozzyBear - You're wrong.

"Using national security concerns to grab a high-ranking executive outside the US borders is not the right way of doing it. "

Not sure where national security concerns come into this one. I get as sick as anyone else about the US government's delusion that US law applies anywhere else in the world but the US, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.

The allegation is that US made products were sold to Iran by Huawei, which is a crime in US law which was committed on US soil.

The sale was allegedly committed using HSBC Holdings Plc for the financial transaction, which is using the US financial system to sell goods to a sanctioned entity, which again is a crime in US law committed on US soil.

If Huawei lied to HSBC Holdings about the destination of the goods being sold, that is financial fraud in US law, again commited on US soil.

You see the pattern here?

The arrest of a senior Huawei executive is probably due to the fact that when ZTE were caught doing the very same thing (and fined a couple of billion dollars for doing so) they allegedly lied about disciplining the senior executives who were responsible for running the operation. The detention and extradition request is a way of ensuring that this does not happen again.

It would be naive to ignore the political implications of this detention, but in this case at least, US law does appear to have been legally applied.

Johnny Canuck

the Canadian president Justin Trudeau

Shirley you meant Prime Minister.

BillG
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Re: the Canadian president Justin Trudeau

Shirley Trudeau is the Canadian Prime Minister.

Nolveys
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Re: the Canadian president Justin Trudeau

Shirley you meant Prime Minister.

I don't know who came up with the idea of grading politicians in terms of deliciousness.

Andy Mac
Meh

The talk surrounding Huawei has been going for years, even during the last presidency. To the best of my knowledge, I don't think anyone has actually produced any evidence at all Huawei has actually done anything wrong. However, sanction-breaking is a different beast to infrastructure-level espionage, so maybe they actually have some evidence this time.

ivan5

So the US is again trying to foist its laws on the rest of the world. Just listen to the crying anf knashing of teeth if some other country did that to a US citizen.

Nifty

Presumably this means any Huwawei employee can now be arrested in any country that has an extradition treaty with the US. The crime being that you work for an allegedly sanctions busting company. Fascinating when you take this to its logical conclusion.

Jamie Jones
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Even if this happened, she didn't break Chinese law. I don't see how they can do anything other than maybe put sanctions on Huawei's US operation.

We don't have jaywalking laws in the UK. But does this mean if I cross the road in Wales, I could be extradited to the USA for breaking it's jaywalking laws? (ok, ok, I know it's not that severe a crime, but you get the jist of my argument)

Stevie
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Jaywalking

I think a more correct analogy would be that you were caught on camera jaywalking in, say NYC and were arrested (assuming the misdemeanor "crime" was actually a felony) in Wales to face charges back in the USA.

But I don't know for sure any more than you do because the story is self-admittedly short on actual details.

Jamie Jones
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Re: Jaywalking

I don't know why you were downvoted for that!

Oh, so their argument (presumably) is it was Huawei-USA that exported the equipment? I just assumed they'd have done it China -> Iran

EDIT: Ah yes, I just read the linked Reuters article which mentions "US origin products".

Cheers for the nudge!

Yes Me
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extradition not needed

There are plenty of Huawei and Futurewei employees in the US itself. This warrant is very much targetted on a senior executive related to the company founder, who was trusting enough to fly to Canada.

kirk_augustin@yahoo.com

Re: Jaywalking

No, the camera image of jaywalking in NY is not similar, because they are not accusing Hauwei of violating any US law in the US, but of violating a US dictate in the rest of the world. Last I heard, US dictates are not law if they violate the rights of individuals, and have no jurisdiction outside the US.

Spazturtle
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"Presumably this means any Huwawei employee can now be arrested in any country that has an extradition treaty with the US. The crime being that you work for an allegedly sanctions busting company. Fascinating when you take this to its logical conclusion."

You do realize that a companies CFO is personally liable for a companies financial conduct right?

Trollslayer
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Thumb Up

Re: Jaywalking

A very good analogy.

rmason
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Re: Jaywalking

The kit was allegedly sold *from* the US. That's the key thing here.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

@Spazturtle - You're trying to tell us

the CFO of a US company is liable for breaking Chinese laws and he should be arrested no matter where outside Chinese territory ? Is this what you want to imply ? I'm afraid in this case high ranking executives from Google, Facebook and others should be very afraid when going outside US territory.

StargateSg7
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Re: @Spazturtle - You're trying to tell us

"....the CFO of a US company is liable for breaking Chinese laws and he should be arrested no matter where outside Chinese territory ? Is this what you want to imply ? I'm afraid in this case high ranking executives from Google, Facebook and others should be very afraid when going outside US territory...."

--

Actually that IS VERY TRUE!!! If a U.S. Company such as Google has it's Chinese operations commit an equivalent Felony in China, then GOOGLE's US executive personnel ARE ABLE TO BE ARRESTED and extradited to China to face Chinese Law for crimes committed IN China! Executive are responsible for the behaviour of their employees and those executives have a FIDUCIARY DUTY to keep and abide by the laws of the countries they operate in!

Ergo, YES I do see Google, GM and OTHER American company executives VERY SOON NOW being ARRESTED and detained/imprisoned for VERY LONG PERIODS of time IN CHINA for "Crimes" allegedly committed on Chinese soil and/or territories!

Jay Lenovo

Potentially, a economic Lusitania moment brewing here. Huawei may be guilty, but truth is a fickle concept in international matters.

kirk_augustin@yahoo.com

Guilty of what?

Ignoring a dictate by one country that has no authority over any other country?

Hauwei can legally do what ever kind of business it wants with whomever it wants, as long as they follow Chinese law.

DavCrav
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"Ignoring a dictate by one country that has no authority over any other country?

Hauwei can legally do what ever kind of business it wants with whomever it wants, as long as they follow Chinese law."

That logic only applies in China, though. Surely you can see that your two sentences are not compatible. If Huawei follow Chinese law, then they have no problem in China. If Canadian and US laws decide that she is guilty of breaking US sanctions, then she is guilty, for precisely the reason you say she isn't guilty: because China's laws don't override Canada's. And look where she is.

Quite a few countries have the notion of universal jurisdiction for certain crimes.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

@DavCrav - I must have missed that so

please remind me when was the last time US obeyed a dictate by China or any other country.

Oh, and just to let you know, Canadian law didn't decide anything on US interests. Canadians just returned a favor to their buddies Americans in exchange for imposing tariffs on steel, aluminum and others.

TomG

I am sure everyone, including commercial interest, must comply with the rules and regulations of the country in which they are operating.

StargateSg7
Bronze badge

Technically, if they sold products FROM THE USA, containing components MADE or COMMISSIONED WITHIN the USA to a restricted party in Iran! Sooooo, on a technical/legal basis the company DID in fact break US law! The KEY ISSUE is she SHE the CFO know about it and INTENTIONALLY SIGNED OFF on those transactions! If she did, then she get 20 years per count!

If she PERSONALLY had no knowledge of the transactions committed by underlings (who may have acted on their own!), then she merely gets a big fine and loses any position held within the US operations.

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Just when you think it couldn't get any worse...

Each day in America is more vile than the last.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

well, you know ...

You do kind of "entertain" the head of Interpol (not the band) and kind of get away with it, but then you have a problem with reciprocity. That kind of stinks.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

"Americans are grateful..."

Senator Ben Sasse would like to give the impression that the general American population trusts and condones the governments actions without question.

Did he study political rhetoric in Beijing?

Michael Wojcik
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Re: "Americans are grateful..."

Sasse's an ass, even by Nebraskan and Congressional standards. Sadly, he learned political rhetoric at Harvard, St John's, and Yale, with a brief stopover at Oxford. He's just not very good at it.

In any case, Sasse is very much a participant in US right-wing circles of power. Prior to pontificating in the Senate, he had stints at Boston Consulting Group, the DHS, and private academia. There's more info available in Wikipedia and elsewhere, but it's a depressing read.

He was one of the feebly-anti-Trump members of Congress, but never to any actual effect.

kirk_augustin@yahoo.com

Clearly this arrest is totally illegal and amounts to an act of war.

{... "Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the Chief Financial Officer of a giant Chinese telecom company for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran." ...}

In what way could the US legally impose economic sanctions against anyone, and how could US sanctions possibly have international jurisdiction?

And the UN has no additional authority either.

Sanctions declared by fiat at entirely illegal.

The ONLY time any sanctions could be legal, is if they were necessary in the immediate defense of inherent human rights. But Iran has the inherent right to defend itself, and to obtain whatever weapons it needs in order to do this. And this is especially true since the US illegally invaded Iraq and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people, based on deliberate lies.

DavCrav
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"But Iran has the inherent right to defend itself, and to obtain whatever weapons it needs in order to do this."

False. Iran is a signatory to the nuclear NPT.

Spazturtle
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"and how could US sanctions possibly have international jurisdiction?"

Jurisdiction just means where a country can enforce it's laws, not where they apply. Countries laws don't end at their border, they apply everywhere in the known universe. If 2 Scottish people have a brawl in a pub in Glasgow and then travel to a different country they could be arrested and charged in that country for breaking that countries laws on public fighting.

DavCrav
Silver badge

""But Iran has the inherent right to defend itself, and to obtain whatever weapons it needs in order to do this."

False. Iran is a signatory to the nuclear NPT."

OK, apparently this needs explaining. Iran has a right to self-defence, yes. As a non-nuclear signatory to the NPT, it has agreed not to develop nuclear weapons. Therefore from a legal perspective it does not have the right to obtain any weapons, for example NBC weaponry would be banned. Since the original post was about Iran's legal position, I think pointing out that Iran cannot legally acquire nuclear weapons under the NPT was a reasonable statement.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Forget the Sanctions Angle for the Moment

There are other considerations.

First look at things from a corporate perspective, one example: a large US computer manufacturer wants to buy another large computer manufacturer. The transaction needs the blessing of nearly all countries where each does major business; US & China to name a few... In recent history a US based computerzilla tries to buy a US based storagezilla. Each does substantial business in China, and must get anti-trust approval from the US and approval from the Chinese regulators to merge their respective entities in China.

Chinese regulators request additional detailed information. Computerzilla delays the merger and eventually decides to only go ahead and merge all of the entities except the Chinese based ones. And decides to operate the Chinese based entities as independent entities with a strong firewall between the two.

Point is that US based anti-trust regulators reach does not extend outside the US boarders; i.e. they cannot dictate that another country should approve the merger too.

Real point... not all US laws extend outside the US Borders.

Maelstorm
Bronze badge
Meh

"At the request of the US side, the Canadian side arrested a Chinese citizen not violating any American or Canadian law. The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim,"

I'm sorry, for China to claim that this is a violation of her human rights is just laughable...especially when you look at China's human rights violations over their history. Pot, meet Kettle.

If the United States wasn't so damn arrogant and sticking their nose where it doesn't belong all the time, then these other countries wouldn't be so keen on acquiring weapons to defend themselves against us. It's a game of control. Look at North Korea. The only reason why they want nuclear weapons is to counter the United States. So take a look: The axis of evil is Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, and Libya. Two of those were invaded. Syria in in a civil war, and Libya disposed of their dictator. So looking at that, I can see why Kim Jong Un want's nuclear weapons. I would be nervous too.

SamX

Dangerous precedent

This sets the dangerous precedent where political motives are aimed at individuals. Imagine any western business individual being arrested in China for selling stuff to the US government? or a software company selling software to government intelligence agencies?

Voland's right hand
Silver badge

Re: Dangerous precedent

Imagine any western business individual being arrested in China for selling stuff to the US government?

More like - Imagine western individual being arrested in any of those countries which are presently on Chinese payroll. So much for that lovely holiday to the Maldives you know.

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Dangerous precedent

"More like - Imagine western individual being arrested in any of those countries which are presently on Chinese payroll. So much for that lovely holiday to the Maldives you know."

Just so you know, this happens. China has had people arrested in third countries who then magically turn up in China.

MiguelC
Silver badge

Re: "people arrested in third countries who then magically turn up in China"

Oh, you mean that China might do something similar to CIA's extrajudicial renditions

So the stereotype's real, they're still copying the US! /sarcasm

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Export Control

If your company sells any (proscribed) tech, that has passed through American hands at any point in its development, to a customer with links to a country on us.gov's "Banned!" list, then you are going to get a can of Uncle Sam's Legal Whoop-Ass opened up for you.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Export Control

then you are going to get a can of Uncle Sam's Legal Whoop-Ass opened up for you.

That's fine and that is a given. The issue is not the can of Whoop-Ass or its size. The issue is where it is enforced. This demonstrates a major deficiency in pretty much all treaties for legal assistance with the USA. USA can ask a third country to extradite you for nearly anything, and most will.

While nothing can be done in this particular case as it is Canada, an ECHR/ECJ challenge to a USA extradition request on the basis "it is not a crime here, so get lost" is long overdue.

Spazturtle
Silver badge

Re: Export Control

"While nothing can be done in this particular case as it is Canada, an ECHR/ECJ challenge to a USA extradition request on the basis "it is not a crime here, so get lost" is long overdue."

In this case what she did was a crime in Canada, but the UK has on several occasions refused to extradite people to the US because what they did wasn't a crime in the UK.

StargateSg7
Bronze badge

Re: Export Control

"....If your company sells any (proscribed) tech, that has passed through American hands at any point in its development, to a customer with links to a country on us.gov's "Banned!" list, then you are going to get a can of Uncle Sam's Legal Whoop-Ass opened up for you...."

---

I get that too, soooo as a Canadian, I write software and design all sorts of hardware that USES NO U.S. Components at all !!!! While that has more to do with me being Anal Retentive in wanting to do ALL the writing, designing and building MYSELF for personal satisfaction and quality control reasons, I also do that so as to AVOID ANY ISSUE of Non-Canadian sourced components and software.

So I can make my own satellites, spaceplanes, autonomous robots, A.I software, encryption software and open source it FOR EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE .... and there is NOT A DAMN THING THE USA can do about it since It was "ME!" who was the one who ENTIRELY built and designed it, right down to machining my own nuts and bolts on my custom self-built CNC/3D printers and even making custom resistors, capacitors, power supplies, DSP's/CPU's/GPU's fully MADE IN CANADA FROM CANADIAN MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT ... Even the assemblers, compilers and OS'es and Design Software are made in Canada! I know that's more than just a bit crazy...but that's just my Squeezed Sphincters talking because I HAPPEN TO LIKE doing things all by myself with ALMOST NO HELP from anyone else!

Not many people have that sort of time, talent and resources available to do that, BUT since I do...well...I DO THAT! MOSTLY FOR FUN TOO !!!

Eguro

Reusing is better than recycling, right?

Here's a link to my comment in the previous article about this story:

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/3671363

And here it is in full:

"There seem to be details missing in this piece?

As others have pointed out Huawei are surely free to trade their own products to Iran, though possibly (I don't know) at the cost of being able to do business in the US?

As far as I know the issue is, that Huawei have been allegedly circumventing a ban on selling US-products to Iran, by selling HP products to Iran via a separate company (Skycom) - one where Weng was briefly a board member, and which at least at one point was entirely owned by a management company owned by the Huawei parent company.

There was a news report of this way back in 2013 already:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-huawei-skycom/exclusive-huawei-cfo-linked-to-firm-that-offered-hp-gear-to-iran-idUSBRE90U0CC20130131"

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