Huawei heir prepares for post-release life

After being stuck for 3 years in Canada, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was able to return to his home country of China.

Ms. Meng Wanzhou attends a hearing in Vancouver, Canada on August 10, 2021. (Photo: Reuters)

Like many top Chinese executives, Ms. Meng has always been a mysterious figure. Some sources believe that one day, the 49-year-old female CFO of Huawei will take over the company founded by her father.

However, Ms. Meng was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport at the request of the US. The US accused her of bank fraud, confusing HSBC Holdings about business deals in Iran.

After Ms. Meng reached an agreement with the US prosecutor on September 24, the Canadian judge also canceled her extradition hearing. The Canadian government then issued a statement confirming she was free to leave the country. According to a source close to Reuters, she boarded a flight back to China on the same day.

Speaking to reporters and supporters as she exited the Vancouver courtroom after the hearing, Ms. Meng expressed: “My life has turned upside down in the past three years. Those are the hiatus days as a mother and wife.”

“However, I believe that every cloud has a halo. It is truly priceless experience in my life. I will never forget all the good wishes I received from people around the world.”

Ms. Manh has always kept her expressionless appearance every time she appears in public since her arrest, but on the morning of September 24, she beamed when she left home to attend a virtual hearing between Vancouver and Brooklyn (USA).

Meng’s arrest focuses all of her attention on Huawei at a time of growing global concern about technology security. In dozens of trials, lawyers have portrayed the “Huawei daughter” as an innocent passerby caught up in the trade war between the US and China.

Ms. Meng is under house arrest in Vancouver. On terms, she could travel around the city during the day and return home at night. Private security monitors her 24/7, at her expense.

Her husband, son and daughter visited her during Covid-19. Based on the letter she wrote to a Huawei employee on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of her arrest, Ms. Meng kills time by painting, reading and working.

According to Huawei’s website, Ms. Meng joined the company in 1993, received a Master’s degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 1998, and held many positions, mostly related to finance.

She is the Director of the International Accounting Department, the CFO of Huawei Hong Kong, and the Chairman of the Financial Management Department.

In her first appearance before the Chinese press in 2013, Ms. Meng said her initial job was as a secretary, who made phone calls. In 2011, she became a member of the Board of Directors. Company insiders describe her as capable and hardworking.

Although her brother Manh, Manh Binh as well as his wife and younger brother Nham all work at Huawei and related companies, no one holds such a high-level managerial position.

According to Reuters, Ms. Manh is internally considered a bright heir to Mr. Nham Chinh Phi. Ren, 76, founded Huawei in 1988 and is relatively private.

Most of the “marketing” surrounding Huawei comes from Mr. Ren’s stint in the People’s Army of China (PLA), where he was a civilian engineer for nearly a decade until he left in 1983.

Officials from some countries, especially the United States, voiced concerns about the close relationship between Huawei and China. Huawei has repeatedly stressed that Beijing has no influence over them.

At the time of Meng’s arrest, Huawei’s revenue was split equally between domestic and international. Half comes from supplying equipment to carriers around the world. However, from here, the West turns away from the Chinese giant. In 2019, Huawei was on the US Department of Commerce’s Entity List, banning access to important US-origin technology, affecting its ability to design its own chips and buy components from other manufacturers.

The ban puts Huawei’s handset division under severe pressure. The company had to sell its budget smartphone brand Honor to an alliance in November 2020 to keep it alive. Currently, sales from the consumer division account for more than half of total sales, with 66% coming from China, according to the 2020 annual report.

Du Lam(According to Reuters)

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