See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

Huawei exec’s arrest: Who is Meng Wanzhou?

Huawei CFO arrest threatens fragile trade war truce.


Written by

Updated: December 7, 2018

When news broke on Thursday (Dec 6) that a top Huawei executive has been arrested in Canada, Ms Meng Wanzhou became one of the most talked-about persons in online chatter and social media chat groups.

Born in 1972, Ms Meng, who also goes by Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng, is the chief financial officer of Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier and the world’s No. 2 seller of mobile phones.

She was detained by the Canadian authorities in Vancouver on Dec 1 while in transit and is facing an extradition request from the United States.

Various reports indicated that this could be related to violations of US sanctions on Iran.

The South China Morning Post said that Ms Meng has spoken to Huawei staff in a recent internal briefing on regulatory compliance.

She had said that there may be cases where “the external rules are clear-cut and there’s no contention, but the company is totally unable to comply with in actual operations”.

“In such cases, after a reasonable decision-making process, one may accept the risk of temporary non-compliance,” she was quoted as saying.

This briefing was conducted alongside her father, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.

While the 74-year-old patriarch of the Chinese technology giant has said that he will not hand over the reins of the company to any of this children, Ms Meng was promoted in March this year to be one of four vice-chairs of the Shenzhen-based firm, making her a likely heir apparent.

Though most Chinese people use their fathers’ surnames, Ms Meng adopted her mother’s family name.

According to Chinese media reports, there are at least two versions on how this came about.

One version has it that Mr Ren allowed his daughter to adopt the Meng surname out of respect for his father-in-law.

Another version says Ms Meng changed her surname of her own accord when she was 16.

After graduating from university in 1992, Ms Meng spent a year working at China Construction Bank before joining the fledgling telecoms equipment company.

In her early years at Huawei, she dealt mostly with administrative matters such as taking phone calls, typing, and producing product catalogues, as one of three secretaries in the company.

In the late 1990s, she earned a master’s degree in accountancy from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, central Hubei province, before returning to Huawei to helm the finance department.

Over the years, she has been director of the international accounting department, chief financial officer of Huawei Hong Kong and president of the accounting management department at the company.

She is married with a son and daughter and has a brother who works in a services company affiliated to Huawei.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

U.S. lawmaker supports Taiwan arms sales

China has protested the sale in strong terms. Representative Michael McCaul, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on July 14 that the committee approved a recent U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in response to increased Chinese “aggression.” Speaking to Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, the Texas Congressman, who was one of the lawmakers to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday during her layover in New York, said “Chinese are getting very aggressive in Hong Kong, as you just heard. They are also getting very aggressive in Taiwan.” Green-lighting the arms sale, McCaul said, sends a very strong message to China. “We’re going to arm Taiwan, so she can defend herself from what’s become a very aggressive Chinese Communist Party right on their doorstep,” the Republican told host Maria Bartiromo. The U.S. announced July 8 a US$2.22 billion arms package to Taiwan th


By ANN Members
July 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

S. Korean biz groups in emergency mode

Japan has ban the export of high tech materials to South Korea. South Korea’s major business groups are shifting to emergency mode, setting detailed contingency plans for a variety of scenarios amid concerns that the restrictions on exports of key tech materials from Japan to Korea could stay in place for a long time, according to the industry on Monday. The leaders of the country’s five biggest conglomerates — Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor Group, SK Group, LG Group and Lotte Group — are tightening their reins on the groups’ operations, bracing for possible ripple effects on the global economy and business environment as a result of Japan’s decision. Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is spearheading an array of contingency plans. After coming back from a six-day trip to Tokyo last week, Lee convened a meeting with the top brass of the company’s semiconducto


By The Korea Herald
July 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Chinese economy grows at slowest rate in decades

Growth slumps to 27-year low in China, with talk of more aggressive stimulus measures. China’s economy grew 6.2 per cent in the second quarter of this year, its slowest rate in 27 years, as the country’s trade war with the United States exacted its toll. Analysts said they expect economic growth to continue to weaken for the rest of this year, which would likely prompt more aggressive stimulus measures from Beijing. Data released on Monday (July 15) by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that gross domestic product growth in the second quarter had slowed from 6.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, coming in largely within expectations. The economy grew by 6.3 per cent for the first half of the year, according to the NBS. The figure is still within the 6 to 6.5 per cent target that Beijing has set for full year GDP growth. Last year, Chin


By The Straits Times
July 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

China assures foreign firms amid tensions

Beijing says investments continue despite trade war. The Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that there is no massive withdrawal of foreign investment from China, and vowed that the country will firmly protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign enterprises in the country. “We’ve noticed the concerns of some foreign enterprises, but based on our knowledge the country has not seen large-scale withdrawal of investment by foreign companies,” said ministry spokesman Gao Feng at a news briefing. His remark came amid media reports that said some foreign companies are considering moving out of China to avoid being adversely affected by the ongoing Sino-US trade conflict. “China will not suppress any foreign-funded enterprises and will not discriminate against any of them,” Gao said. “We will resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of all fo


By China Daily
July 15, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Japan sees decline in value-added trade surplus with Korea

Tokyo’s export curbs to negatively impact global economy due to correlated trade structure. Japan’s trade surplus in value-added goods and services (TiVA) with South Korea took a downturn during the 2005-2015 period, reflecting the diversifying structure of logistics and trade, statistics showed Sunday. In light of the interconnection of the global value chain, the country’s recent curbs on hi-tech exports to Korea are likely to affect not only the two countries but also the regional and global economy in general, Seoul’s government officials noted.\ According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, Japan logged $135.2 billion in aggregated TiVA from 2005 to 2015. Its total trade surplus during the same period stood at $303.2 billion. TiVA, in international trade is equivalent to operating profits of corporate business transactions, figuring out the value added by eac


By The Korea Herald
July 15, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

India, Russia discuss joint production of space systems

The two countries met to discuss joint-cooperation projects. India and Russia on Friday discussed the possibilities for the production of space systems in India as part of the ‘Make in India’ programme. Director General of Russia’s ROSCOSMOS and former Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin held detailed high-level talks with National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval on all aspects of the India-Russia space cooperation. Senior representatives of ROSCOSMOS, GLAVCOSMOS, Energia and Energomash were present from the Russian side while the Secretary, Space and the Director of the Human Space Flight Programme were present from the Indian side, besides other senior officials. Both sides agreed to take a strategic approach to elevate bilateral cooperation to the next level keeping in view the special and privileged partnership between the two countries. Cooperation in futuristic technologies, includ


By The Statesman
July 15, 2019