11:59 GMT15 August 2020
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    Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada in early December 2018 at the request of the US, who accuses the Huawei chief financial officer of misleading HSBC about the Chinese tech giant's ties with a company operating in Iran.

    The London-headquartered bank HSBC has denied reports about its role in the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou in 2018, initiated by the US.

    In a WeChat post on Saturday, the lender said that "the context of the development of the Huawei incident clearly shows that the US investigation of Huawei was not triggered by HSBC". 

    "HSBC has no malice against Huawei, nor has it 'framed' Huawei", the message pointed out, adding that after information requests from the US Department of Justice, the bank "only provided factual information".

    "HSBC has not 'fabricated' evidence or 'concealed' facts, nor will it distort facts or harm any customers for our own benefit", the lender noted without directly referring to the state-run Chinese newspaper People's Daily.

    Meng Wanzhou, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Technologies, attending the 6th Annual VTB Capital Investment Forum Russia Calling at the World Trade Center, October 2, 2014
    © Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin
    Meng Wanzhou, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Technologies, attending the 6th Annual VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling" at the World Trade Center, October 2, 2014

    The statement follows the news outlet on Friday blaming HSBC for being a US accomplice and spreading lies about Huawei, which finally led to Meng's arrest.

    The People's Daily also alleged that HSBC was well aware of Huawei's business in Iran, and that the lender had been "setting traps" for the company since 2012.

    In a separate development on Saturday, the Chinese news network Xinhua cited court filings as saying that Meng's lawyers submitted new evidence to a Canadian court suggesting that US prosecutors had "seriously" misled Canada about the Huawei CFO case.

    The evidence came as Meng is currently fighting extradition to the US following her arrest at Vancouver International Airport on 1 December 2018 at the request of Washington, who has accused her of lying to HSBC about the nature of Huawei's relationship with its Hong Kong affiliate Skycom.

    US prosecutors claimed that Huawei had used Skycom as a shell company to do business with Iranian telecommunications companies, in violation of sanctions the US had in place against Iran at the time.

    Both the Chinese tech giant and Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei's founder and CEO, deny any wrongdoing, insisting that Skycom was a separate business partner in Iran.

    In the latest disclosure, Meng's lawyers argued that the US had intentionally omitted crucial parts of the 2013 presentation she gave to a senior HSBC employee at the time.

    During the presentation, Meng admitted that Huawei had once held shares in Skycom and that she was a director of the Hong Kong-based firm. Her lawyers insisted, however, that by the time of the meeting, Huawei had sold all its shares and Meng had stepped down as Skycom director.

    The developments unfold amid the ongoing US crackdown on Huawei which kicked off in May 2019, when the country's Department of Commerce blacklisted the firm, accusing it of cooperating with China's intelligence services, allegations that both Beijing and the company vehemently reject.

    Related:

    After Meng Wanzhou Visit, Chinese Envoy Says Canada Should Correct 'Mistake' - Embassy
    Huawei's Meng Wanzhou Scores Court Victory on Access to Arrest Documents Ahead of Extradition Trial
    Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou Claims ‘Covert Criminal Operation’ During Arrest, Seeks Halt to Extradition
    Tags:
    crackdown, extradition, HSBC, Huawei, arrest, Meng Wanzhou, United States, Canada, China
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