Meng Wanzhou thanks Huawei employees for support in first public comments since December arrest

14-May-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Huawei Technologies’ CFO Meng Wanzhou, currently under house arrest in Canada pending an extradition hearing, has thanked all of the telecom giant’s 188,000 employees for their continued support during the difficult times she has faced in her first public comments since being detained.

“Over the past few months, many Huawei people whether I know them or not have continued to care about my safety silently and left messages for me via the [Huawei online] community, and this has blessed and cheered me up, touching my heart in an indescribable way,” Meng said in an open letter to all Huawei employees dated May 9 and shared publicly by the company on its official WeChat account on Monday.

“Your concerns let me read the warmth; your support makes me feel the power. I believe that with every step I now take, I am surrounded by 188,000 Huawei people,” Meng wrote, adding that this power can unite and strengthen Huawei’s “will”.

Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, is accused by US authorities of defrauding HSBC bankers by painting a false picture of Huawei’s alleged operations in Iran, in breach of US sanctions.

She was arrested at the request of American authorities in Canada as she changed planes on her way from Hong Kong to Mexico on December 1 2018. Apart from a private WeChat post on December 12, these are Meng’s first public comments.

Meng appeared in court in Vancouver on May 8, 2019, seeking to get her US extradition case thrown out. Her lawyers blasted her arrest as “unlawful” during the court session, arguing that US President Donald Trump’s suggestion about “intervening in the case if it would help forge a trade deal with China” is a violation of the judicial process.

Meng said it brought tears to her eyes to learn that many Huawei people stayed up all night to watch her court appearances, despite the vast time difference. Meng also noted that many former Huawei employees, who have retired and settled down in Vancouver, have queued up early to show their support every time she appears in court.

Meng is currently free under private guard on C$10 million (US$7.4 million) bail, living with her husband, Carlos Liu Xiaozong, in a C$5.6 million (US$4.1 million) home in the suburb of Dunbar.

Meng is allowed to travel throughout the city but must wear a GPS tracker and abide by an 11pm curfew. She pays for her own private jailers to prevent her from fleeing.

“Although my activities in Vancouver have been limited in recent days, the colour and world of my heart have been unprecedentedly rich and broad,” said Meng. “And I have never had the opportunity to be so closely connected with 188,000 Huawei people. Everything has its beautiful side. This close and warm connection [with Huawei people] is as beautiful as the spring breeze.”

Meng’s next court appearance is set for September 2019, and a judge in her bail application said the extradition case could last months if not years.

In March 2018, Huawei made its first management reshuffle in six years, promoting Meng to vice-chairwoman while her father Ren in turn relinquished his vice-chair role at the world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier. Ren retained his chief executive title as the company elected a new board for the first time since 2012 amid setbacks to its US expansion plan.

Huawei chair Liang Hua was appointed as the company’s acting CFO in December following the arrest of Meng at the request of the US in December.


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