Tech

Huawei CFO loses major battle in extradition fight as U.S.-China tensions escalate

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., leaves the Supreme Court in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019.
Trevor Hagan | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Key Points
  • Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou lost a major battle in her fight against U.S. extradition.
  • The Chinese Foreign Ministry urged Canada to immediately release Meng and ensure her return to China.
  • Huawei, the world's largest telecommunication supplier, has been a flashpoint for the Trump administration's trade battles with China.
  • Meng will remain in Vancouver on bail in what will be a lengthy extradition process. She is due back in Vancouver court next month.
Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., leaves the Supreme Court in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019.
Trevor Hagan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou lost a major legal battle in her fight against extradition to the U.S. to stand trial on fraud charges.

In the Wednesday ruling, the Supreme Court of British Columbia found that the case against Meng meets a standard called "double criminality," where the acts the U.S has accused her of are also illegal in Canada. The next phase of proceedings will begin next month. 

Diplomatic tensions are rising as Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, will have to remain in Vancouver on bail during a lengthy extradition process. 

Shortly after the court's decision, the Chinese Foreign Ministry urged Canada to release Meng immediately and ensure her return to China. The Global Times, which is aligned with the Communist Party of China, blamed the U.S. for the ruling, saying Canada's judicial and diplomatic independence has fallen to "U.S. bullying." 

Huawei, the world's largest telecommunication supplier, has been a flashpoint for the Trump administration's trade battles with China. Shortly after Meng was arrested in December 2018, President Trump weighed in on the extradition case, telling Reuters he might consider "intervening" in the case if it would help the U.S.- China trade war. On Wednesday afternoon, legislation calling for sanctions against China passed both houses of Congress; President Trump has not said whether he intends to sign it into law.

The U.S. Commerce Department has also targeted Huawei. It blocked shipments of semiconductors to the company from chip-makers. That followed the administration's move to keep Huawei on the U.S. Entity List, a blacklist that restricts American firms doing business with the company. The ban is hitting Huawei's bottom line. The company reported it saw slowing revenue growth in 2019

Huawei said it was "disappointed'' in the ruling and maintained Meng's innocence.

Meng is due back in court June 15.

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