Huawei looks to have had its hand in conducting sanctions-breaking business with both Iran and Syria, a Reuters article reported after midnight in Hong Kong.
Three Chinese individuals had signing rights to bank accounts in Iran for both Huawei and Skycom, a company U.S. prosecutors claim Huawei controlled, according to the report first published at 12:53 a.m. on Wednesday morning in the South China Morning Post.
The discovery bolsters the case of the U.S. against detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada last month.
Washington believes Meng Wanzhou lied to U.S. banks in order to clear dollar transactions with Iran, thus violating sanctions on the country. To do so, Reuters reported, she claimed the two companies were not subsidiaries of Huawei, when in fact their senior executives were picked by Huawei. The two companies in question are equipment seller Skycom and what appears to be a shell company, Canicula Holdings. Corporate filings and other documents in Iran and Syria showed that Huawei is more closely linked to both firms than previously known, Reuters reported.
China has actually made very little noise about this report. A delegation of six U.S. diplomats has been in Beijing since Monday for trade talks. Those meetings were stretched out to Wednesday.
Huawei is the poster child of high-tech China. The company is quickly becoming a rival to U.S. telecommunications systems provider Cisco Systems in faraway countries like Colombia. When the U.S. says that China is a technological rival and should not be treated as an emerging market in the tech space, Huawei is the prime example.
Meng.s arrest dragged Canada into a diplomatic fight that has been going on—mostly between Beijing and Washington—since Donald Trump’s inauguration. Canadians were quickly arrested in the usual Beijing tit-for-tat retaliation.
The biggest takeaway from the Reuters article is that China is not always a good-faith actor. Meng is not merely a director of a Huawei subsidiary far from home. She is the daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei. The recent discoveries both undermine Huawei’s claims that they had no insider knowledge of Iranian business at Skycom and erode the notion that China tech firms can be trusted.
These are delicate times for China. The U.S.-China relationship has never been so unstable. Critics of the trade war in the mainland have been silenced. The economy is slowing.
On Tuesday, China Ambassador Cui Tiankai said the trade war was being run by new cold warriors.
“Don’t have the illusion that some self-proclaimed strategists, who are actually new cold warriors, can solve your problems for you,” he said in in a keynote address at the China General Chamber of Commerce in New York. “Have the moral courage to say no to those advocating the disruption of international supply chains, fragmentation of the global market, decoupling of our trade partners, zero-sum confrontation and even a new cold war,” he said.
The comments were likely singling out Trump’s top China advisors: Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the director of Trump’s National Trade Council, Peter Navarro.
Source » forbes