HUAWEI HID IRAN BUSINESS AFTER REUTERS REPORT ON LINKS TO CFO
China’s Huawei Technologies acted to cover up its relationship with a firm that had tried to sell prohibited US computer gear to Iran, after Reuters in 2013 reported deep links between the firm and the telecom-equipment giant’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, newly obtained internal Huawei documents show.
Huawei has long described the firm - Skycom Tech Co Ltd - as a separate local business partner in Iran. Now, documents obtained by Reuters show how the Chinese tech titan effectively controlled Skycom. The documents, reported here for the first time, are part of a trove of internal Huawei and Skycom Iran-related business records - including memos, letters and contractual agreements - that Reuters has reviewed, Steve Stecklow and Babak Dehghanpisheh reported for the news agency late on June 3, 2020.
One document described how Huawei scrambled in early 2013 to try to “separate” itself from Skycom out of concern over trade sanctions on Tehran. To that end, this and other documents show, Huawei took a series of actions - including changing the managers of Skycom, shutting down Skycom’s Tehran office and forming another business in Iran to take over tens of millions of dollars’ worth of Skycom contracts. The newly obtained documents appear to undermine Huawei’s claims that Skycom was just a business partner. They offer a behind-the-scenes look at some of what transpired at the two companies inside Iran seven years ago and how intertwined the companies were. The documents are variously written in English, Chinese and Farsi.
The revelations in the new documents could buttress a high-profile criminal case being pursued by US authorities against Huawei and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of Huawei’s founder. The United States has been trying to get Meng extradited from Canada, where she was arrested in December 2018. A Canadian judge last week allowed the case to continue, rejecting defense arguments that the US charges against Meng do not constitute crimes in Canada. The US has accused Meng of using Skycom as an “unofficial subsidiary” of Huawei and not as a local partner.