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US charges China's Huawei with fraud

WASHINGTON/HONG KONG: The United States on Monday announced criminal charges against China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, escalating a fight with the world’s biggest telecommunications equipment maker which denies wrongdoing, and coming days before trade talks with Beijing.
The justice department charged Huawei and its chief financial officer with conspiring to violate US sanctions on Iran by doing business through a subsidiary it tried to hide and that was reported on by Reuters in 2012 and 2013 .
In a separate case, the justice department said Huawei stole robotic technology from T-Mobile US Inc. Huawei has said the firms settled their dispute in 2017.
Chief finance officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, in a move which was followed by China arresting two Canadians on national security grounds. She has denied wrongdoing and is scheduled to appear in court t to discuss changes to her bail terms.
Late on Monday, public broadcaster CBC said the US has formally requested her extradition, citing Canada’s justice department.
Huawei said it was “disappointed” to learn of the charges. It said it had sought to discuss them with US authorities “but the request was rejected without explanation”.
“The firm denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations…, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng, and believes the US courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion.”
China’s foreign ministry expressed “grave concern” and urged the US drop the arrest warrant and end “unreasonable suppression” of Chinese firms.
The development is likely to upset talks between Beijing and Washington this week as part of negotiations intended to walk back trade tensions between the globe’s two largest economies.
US president Donald Trump said in December he could intervene in Meng’s case if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.
US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said the charges are “separate” from the trade negotiations.
Canada’s justice minister will have 30 days from receipt of the extradition request to decide whether to grant authority to proceed.

– Reuters

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