Huawei to 'defend itself' against US legal claims as executive Meng Wanzhou is freed

Huawei said it will "defend itself" against legal claims that it flouted US sanctions. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese telecoms giant Huawei said on Saturday (Sept 25) it will "defend itself" against legal claims that it flouted United States sanctions, after officials dropped fraud charges against top executive Meng Wanzhou and ended a three-year stand-off.

"Huawei will continue to defend itself against the allegations in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York," the company said in a statement as Ms Meng flew back to China.

Washington had accused her of wire fraud and deceiving HSBC bank, saying she tried to hide violations of US sanctions on Iran by
Huawei affiliate Skycom.

But on Friday, US prosecutors settled for Meng agreeing to a statement of facts in the case.

In exchange, they agreed to defer the charges until 2022, and then drop them if Meng abides by the terms of the agreement.

The charges and Meng's arrest were enmeshed in a broader campaign against Huawei, a private firm that Washington says is closely tied to the Chinese government and People's Liberation Army.

US officials say Huawei's phones, routers and switching equipment, used widely around the world, offer Chinese intelligence a potent backdoor into global communications.

Huawei denies that it has any ties to the Chinese military.

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