The CFO of Chinaâs Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] argued that she should be released on bail while awaiting an extradition hearing, citing her longstanding ties to Canada, properties she owns in Vancouver and fears for her health while incarcerated, court documents showed on Sunday.
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is fighting to be released on bail after she was arrested on Dec. 1 in Vancouver at the request of the United States. She is also fighting the extradition request, and China has protested her arrest to US and Canadian officials.
Meng, 46, faces US accusations that she misled multinational banks about Huaweiâs control of a company operating in Iran. This deception put the banks at risk of violating US sanctions and incurring severe penalties, according to court documents seen by Reuters. US officials allege that Huawei was trying to use the banks to move money out of Iran.
China has demanded her immediate release. The arrest has roiled global markets as investors worried it could torpedo attempts to thaw trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
US stock futures fell 0.71 percent in early Asia trading, extending their negative tone from Friday.
In a sworn affidavit, Meng, the daughter of Huaweiâs founder, said she is innocent and will contest the allegations at trial in the United States if she is surrendered there.
Meng said she was taken to a hospital for treatment for hypertension after being detained. She cited hypertension in a bail application seeking her release pending an extradition hearing. She also noted that she owns two homes in Vancouver worth millions of dollars each.
Her family assured the court she would remain in Vancouver if she was granted bail, according to the court documents. Her husband said he plans to bring the coupleâs daughter to Vancouver to attend school during the proceedings. Meng will be back in the court for a bail hearing on Monday.
Huawei, the worldâs biggest supplier of telecoms network equipment and second biggest smartphone seller, did not offer an immediate comment on the court documents. The company, a market leader across many countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, previously said it has complied with all applicable rules.
Earlier on Sunday, Chinaâs foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador to lodge a âstrong protestâ over the arrest, and said the United States should withdraw its arrest warrant.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng told US ambassador Terry Branstad the United States had made an âunreasonable demandâ on Canada to detain Meng while she was passing through Vancouver, Chinaâs Foreign Ministry said.
âThe actions of the US seriously violated the lawful and legitimate rights of the Chinese citizen, and by their nature were extremely nasty,â Le told Branstad.
China urged the United States to withdraw the arrest warrant, Le added. âChina will respond further depending on US actions,â he said, without elaborating.
On Saturday, Le warned the Canadian ambassador there would be severe consequences if it did not immediately release Meng. There was no immediate reaction from Canada. On Friday, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters Canadaâs relationship with China was important, and the countryâs ambassador in Beijing has assured the Chinese consular access will be provided to Meng.
The United States has been looking since at least 2016 into whether Huawei shipped US-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of US export and sanctions laws, Reuters reported in April.
The US case against Meng involves Skycom Tech Co. Ltd, which Huawei has described as one of its âmajor local partnersâ in Iran. Huawei used Skycomâs Tehran office to provide mobile network equipment to several major telecommunications companies in Iran, people familiar with the companyâs operations have told Reuters.
InÂ December 2012, Reuters reported that documents showed SkycomÂ hadÂ tried to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment in 2010 to Iranâs largest mobile-phone operator. Reuters later reported that Skycom had much closer ties to Huawei and Meng than previously known.
In Canadian court papers made public on Friday, an investigation by US authorities found Huawei operated Skycom as an âunofficial subsidiaryâ to conduct business in Iran.
Huawei said its Iran operations were âin strict compliance with applicable laws, regulations and sanctionsâ of the United Nations, United States and European Union, according to Canadian court documents released on Sunday.
US officials allege that Meng and other Huawei representatives misled financial institutions about Huaweiâs control of Skycom, so the Chinese company could gain access to the international banking system. As a result, an unidentified financial institution cleared more than USD 100 million worth of transactions related to Skycom through the US between 2010 and 2014, the court papers said.
On Thursday, Reuters identified HSBC Holdings Plc as one of the banks involved in the Meng caseÂ and, citing sources, reported that the probe included possible bank fraud.
Companies are barred from using the US financial system to funnel goods and services to sanctioned entities.
US Senator Marco Rubio said on Sunday he would â100 percent absolutelyâ introduce a measure in the new Congress that would ban Chinese telecom companies from doing business in the United States.
âWe have to understand Chinese companies are not like American companies. OK. We canât even get Apple to crack an iPhone for us in a terrorist investigation,â he told CBS âFace the Nation.â
âWhen the Chinese ask a telecom company, we want you to turn over all the data youâve gathered in the country youâre operating in, they will do it. No court order. Nothing like that. They will just do it. They have to. We need to understand that.â
Rubio was a strong critic of Chinaâs ZTE Corp, which pleaded guilty in 2017 to violating US laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology to Iran.