Beijing | “Nice to see you”: Six months after her successful return from Canada, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou made her first major media appearance in China on Monday after her release.
Also read: Charrest is away from Huawei
The arrest in late 2018 in Vancouver, the daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecom juggernaut, marked the beginning of a major diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Ottawa, with two Canadians being held in parallel custody in China.
After nearly three years of trial, Meng Wanzhou was finally released at the end of September 2021 and returned to China.
Except for a small statement when she landed on Chinese soil, Ms. Meng has never spoken publicly since.
On Monday, from Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, the chief financial officer commented on the company’s annual results, which the Trump administration has placed on the American blacklist.
Despite the sanctions, the telecom giant announced record profits of 2021, up 76% year-on-year to 113.7 billion yuan (16.2 billion euros).
Turnover, on the other hand, fell 28.5% to 636.8 billion yuan (91.2 billion euros).
Despite pressure from Washington, Meng Wanzhou said, “Our ability to make a profit and generate cash flow is growing.”
Now, “we are well aware of the uncertainty,” she told a gathering of journalists gathered in a room reminiscent of the glory of a European palace.
Huawei has not released details of the number of cell phones sold last year.
But sales of “consumer” products, especially smartphones, will fall by almost 50% in 2021.
The brand was once one of the top three smartphone makers in the world, along with Korean Samsung and American Apple.
And before being hit by US sanctions, it briefly occupied the number one position, driven by increased demand and sales in emerging markets.
Dressed in black with a butterfly-shaped brooch, MMe Meng did not explicitly mention his setbacks in Canada. But she said she was “happy” to be back for her final partnership “four years later” for the group’s results.
1er During a stop at Vancouver Airport in December 2018, Huawei’s financial director was arrested at the request of American authorities.
Meng Wanzhou has been accused of lying in order to circumvent US sanctions on Iran. A crime punishable by more than 30 years in prison in the United States, threatened with extradition.
A few days after his arrest, China arrested two Canadians and charged them with espionage, an act widely considered retaliation.
They are former diplomat Michael Kovrig, who once posted in Beijing, and Michael Spover, an expert consultant and businessman in North Korea.
Unlike “Two Michaels” who faced severe detention, Meng Wanzhou was able to stay under house arrest on an electronic bracelet at one of his villas in Vancouver.
After years of detention described as “hostage diplomacy”, everyone was finally able to return to their country in September 2021.
The result was made possible by the US government’s proposal to the courts to “postpone” the trial of Meng Wanzhou until the end of 2022.
According to American Justice, MMe Through this agreement, Meng acknowledged that “false statements” and “concealed truth” about Huawei’s operations in Iran.
Following this decision, a Canadian judge sentenced M in SeptemberMe Meng, which allowed him to regain his freedom.
If the legal settlement of the US authorities with Meng Wanzhou is not challenged or rescinded by 1er December 2022, actions against her will definitely be withdrawn.