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Arrest Shakes Huawei as Global Skepticism of Its Business Grows

7 diciembre, 2018

In a photo from Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, the company’s chief financial officer. The Canadian government said on Wednesday that it had detained Meng on Saturday in Vancouver, British Columbia, while she was transferring flights.




Raymond Zhong and Li Yuan/c.2018 New York Times News Service

It is one of China’s proudest corporate success stories, a colossus in cutting-edge technology that elbowed out Western rivals to become the biggest supplier of the hardware that connects our modern world.


Now, all around the globe, the walls are going up for Huawei.


The United States, which for years has considered the Chinese telecommunications giant a security threat, aimed a straight shot at the company’s leadership when it secured the arrest, in Canada, of Huawei’s chief financial officer.


But lately, Huawei’s setbacks have come on multiple fronts, from New Zealand and Australia to Britain and Canada. China sees the company as a pivotal driver of its ambitions for global technological leadership. Increasingly, much of the rest of the world sees it as a potential conduit for espionage and sabotage.


The Canadian government said Wednesday that it had detained Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on Saturday in Vancouver, British Columbia, while she was transferring flights. The United States is seeking Meng’s extradition but has not said what prompted the arrest.


The news ignited anger and astonishment in China on Thursday, mere days after leaders of the United States and China announced a reprieve in their trade battle.


A “declaration of war” against China was how Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of Global Times, a state-run newspaper known for its nationalist tone, described Meng’s detention on Weibo, a Twitter-like service.


Gavin Ni, chairman of Zero2IPO Group, an influential research and consulting firm in China’s investment industry, wrote on his WeChat social media account: “The China-U.S. competition is not merely a trade rivalry, but a rivalry on all fronts. Carry on, our motherland!”


At a daily news briefing Thursday, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said it had asked U.S. and Canadian officials to give a reason for the detention and to immediately release Meng.


“To detain someone without giving clear reason is an obvious violation of human rights,” Geng said.


Huawei said Thursday that it was not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng, who is a daughter of the company’s founder, and that it complied with the law wherever it operated. The company has long denied that it spies on behalf of Beijing.


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