Huawei CEO: Daughter's arrest was 'politically motivated'

The founder and CEO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei on Wednesday said that the December arrest of Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. was "politically motivated."

“I think arresting Meng Wanzhou was politically motivated," Ren Zhengfei told CBS News.

“We count on the legal proceedings to solve cases for Meng."

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Meng was arrested in Canada in December at the request of U.S. officials for allegedly violating trade sanctions against Iran.

The U.S. is reportedly preparing a formal request to extradite Meng.

Federal prosecutors in the U.S. filed criminal charges in January alleging that Huawei stole intellectual property from T-Mobile and violated U.S. sanction orders.

When asked about those legal proceedings, Ren told CBS, “We still have to wait 'til the court makes the decision.”

While the U.S. and China battle over Huawei, they are also embroiled in a trade dispute.

When asked about the potential relationship between Meng’s arrest and trade, Ren said the two were unlikely to be connected.

“Both China and the U.S. are of large scale and while those powers clash our company is as small as a tomato," the CEO said. "We do not carry that big weight and neither does Meng. And I don’t think Meng has anything to do with the clashes between the two powers.”

 

That response lines up with U.S. officials on the issue. Last month, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the two “are not linked, they’re a totally separate process.” Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin says White House, Pelosi have deal on top-line budget numbers The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Administration pushes back on quick budget deal: 'We have a way to go' MORE has also said they were “separate issues.”