The arrest of Huawei top woman Meng Wanzhou seems to have been prompted by suspicions of espionage. The case began with an investigation into national security, for which former President Obama gave the order.
That states The New York Times on the basis of court documents and interviews with unnamed persons who were involved in the matter. Although the top woman from Huawei, working at the company as CFO, was officially arrested for violating the sanctions against Iran, the suspicions would be against her elsewhere. The United States has for years suspected that Huawei, as an extension of the Chinese government,
Although the suspicions of fraud in relation to the Iranian sanctions were not the main reason to arrest the Huawei CFO, this charge would have been chosen. because it is easier to prove than a national security case, according to The New York Times.
The investigation was initiated by then-President Obama, who suspected Chinese companies, including Huawei, to spy on behalf of the Chinese government. In recent years, researchers might have found evidence that Huawei employees would work on behalf of the Chinese authorities, but a legal case in this area would be ‘complicated’. Then the bank HSBC was looked at, where Huawei was a customer. The bank would have been used to do business with Iran, something that is forbidden under sanction law. That was then used as a reason to take the Huawei top woman.
Huawei responded to the arrest. The company confirms the extradition desired by the US, talks about ‘unspecified allegations’ and says that it has complied with all applicable rules. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa has asked for the immediate release of the Huawei top woman. She has since been released on bail in anticipation of extradition to the US, but she is not allowed to leave the country.