The head of Huawei claims the banks involved in the U.S. case against his company knew about all of its business activities.
In an exclusive interview with CNBC on Wednesday (June 19), CEO Ren Zhengfei spoke for the first time about the case against Huawei. As for allegations of bank and wire fraud against the company, as well as his daughter, CFO Meng Wanzhou, Ren said the banks “have full knowledge of all those business activities.”
At the beginning of the year, U.S. prosecutors filed criminal charges against China’s largest technology company, accusing it of stealing trade secrets and committing bank fraud. In a 13-count indictment filed in Brooklyn, New York, the U.S. government charged Huawei Technologies, two affiliated companies and Meng with bank and wire fraud, as well as conspiracy in connection with business in Iran. In separate charges filed in Washington state, the company is also accused of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile USA.
The cases “expose Huawei’s brazen and persistent actions to exploit American companies and financial institutions, and to threaten the free and fair global marketplace,” Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said at the time.
Huawei and Meng have denied any wrongdoing, with Ren revealing that one of the banks even met with Meng.
“My daughter was in a cafe and said something to the bank officials,” he said. “We have to talk to the person who had the coffee with Meng.”
He added that if the facts are ever made public and used in court, the “case will be very clear.”
The accusations have led to tensions between Canada and China. In May, China accused two Canadians of espionage and has detained several other Canadian citizens since Meng’s December arrest.
Despite his daughter’s legal trouble, Ren said he has had to stay focused on running the company.
“I don’t even have time to attend to my daughter,” he said. “How would I have the time to care about other things at the country level?”