Caixin
Dec 04, 2020 01:36 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Huawei, U.S. in Talks to Free Detained CFO Meng If She Admits to Guilt: Report

What’s new: The U.S. Justice Department has held talks with Huawei Technologies for a deal that could see the company’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, released from custody in Canada and allowed to return to China in exchange for admission of guilt in the U.S. case against her, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Meng, who is also daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, has been detained in Canada for the last two years, following an extradition request from the U.S. over allegations of bank fraud.

Her lawyers have been discussing the potential of a “deferred prosecution agreement” with the U.S. Justice Department, which would require her to admit to some of the charges against her but could later lead to charges being dropped. Meng has resisted a deal so far because she believes she did nothing wrong, the Journal reported.

Background: Meng’s detention in December 2018 marked the first salvo in a protracted war being waged on Huawei, one of the world’s top makers of telecom networking equipment, by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. It believes the company poses a national security risk due to alleged ties with Beijing.

The case has not only strained China’s ties with the U.S., but also with Canada. Since Meng’s detention, the Trump administration has gone on to impose sanctions on Huawei that have cut off its supply of the imported high-tech chips it needs to produce its leading-edge 5G smartphones and networking equipment.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Wall Street Journal article, click here.

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)

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