The CFO of Chinese technology company Huawei, a firm with significant investments across Africa, was detained in Canada earlier this week for extradition to the United States, the company confirmed early Thursday.
Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the global company’s founder, is believed to be under investigation in connection with alleged violations involving U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to media reports.
Huawei confirmed Meng’s detention while transferring flights in Canada, and said she faces unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York jurisdiction.
“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng,” the statement said. “The company believes the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations.”
That compliance includes the United Nations and European Union as well as the U.S., Huawei said.
The Chinese embassy in Canada also issued a statement about Meng’s arrest, saying authorities have “arrested a Chinese citizen not violating any American or Canadian law.”
China said it “firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim. The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the U.S. and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou.”
The news follows the announcement Wednesday by British telecom BT that Huawei equipment will not be used in its 5G network.
Huawei has a strong presence in African countries from Namibia and South Africa to Ethiopia and Egypt. Angola’s President João Lourenço toured a Huawei research facility during an official visit in October, and Huawei is eyeing a plan to build an electronics assembly facility in Angola as the Chinese firm invests $2 billion in the country’s telecom network.