Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou thanks telecom firm’s 188,000 workers in first public comments since arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who is currently fighting extradition to the United States from Canada, has written a heartfelt letter to the Chinese telecom giant’s staff thanking them for their support.

In the open letter to Huawei’s 188,000 employees, Meng said she has been ‘moved to tears’ by the support she has received from staff members, who she calls sons and daughters of the company.

‘Your concern gives me warmth, your support gives me strength,’ Meng said in the letter dated May 9 and shared by Huawei on its social media account today. The remarks are Meng’s first public comments since her arrest on December 1 in Vancouver.

‘Over the past few months, so many people at Huawei, including those I don’t know, have shown concern for my safety and left me messages on the Xinsheng Community (Huawei’s internal online forum),’ Meng said.

‘They have constantly been sending me their best wishes and cheering me up with their messages. Every time I saw these messages, an indescribable feeling would arise from the bottom of my heart,’ she added. 

‘No matter what kind of difficulties and pressure I am facing, my heart remains strong,’ she said.

The 47-year-old executive wrote that despite her movement has been restricted by the arrest, ‘the colour and scope of my heart have never been so rich and broad’. 

Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, has to wear a GPS tracking bracelet and abide by an 11pm curfew during her house arrest in Vancouver.

She noted that she was left in tears knowing staff members in China have stayed up late to watch her court appearances despite the time differences while many former Huawei employees, who now live in Vancouver, have queued up early to show their support at every hearing.

‘Every step I take, I will have Huawei’s 188,000 sons and daughters with me,’ Meng wrote, adding this power can ‘unite and strengthen the fortress of Huawei’s will’.

US authorities formally requested her extradition on January 30, accusing her of fraud related to violations of sanctions against Iran. 

Meng arrived at the BC Supreme Court last Wednesday in an elegant full-length black and gray weave-pattern dress and Manolo Blahnik pumps, with her ankle monitor prominently visible.

Her high-powered legal team successfully delayed formal extradition proceedings until after a separate hearing in late September determines whether more evidence must be disclosed by the prosecution. 

The next court date in the process, which could last years, was set for September 23, while the formal extradition hearings are expected to begin in January.

Following her arrest, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian businessman Michael Spavor in what observers saw as retaliation.

China later announced it suspected Kovrig of spying and stealing state secrets and alleged Spavor had provided him with intelligence.

Two other Canadians convicted of drug trafficking, meanwhile, were sentenced to death. Beijing also recently blocked Canadian shipments of canola and pork worth billions of dollars.

Canada has accused Beijing of arbitrarily detaining both Kovrig and Spavor, and called the death penalties for Canadians Fen Wei and Robert Schellenberg ‘cruel and inhumane’.


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