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The Huawei Arrest Is Not a Sideshow. It’s the Shape of Things to Come

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In the midst of stock market gyrations, revelations about Trump by Robert Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey testifying before Congress came a story that received far less attention but may be far more important in the end.

This article reports that the CFO of Huawei was arrested in Vancouver, Canada, on a warrant issued by the United States. The CFO, Meng Wanzhou, happens to be the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei and is one of the most powerful business leaders in China. Huawei is the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world and a leader in the new 5G phone technology that is just being rolled out globally.

Huawei is suspected of being controlled by the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army. Huawei has a long history of intellectual property theft and of building trapdoors and other devices into its equipment to spy on users and steal data. The specific charges related to Meng involve money laundering, fraud and selling telecommunications gear to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

The arrest has thrown U.S.–China relations into turmoil just as a 90-day “truce” in the trade wars begins. Hearings on a possible extradition of Meng to the U.S. for trial on the charges have now begun.

This arrest should not be taken lightly and the struggle between the U.S. and Huawei will not be over soon. The U.S. is acting aggressively to uphold its national security and intellectual property interests.

There will be more actions against Huawei and other Chinese tech giants. The intellectual property part of the trade war is just getting underway and has a long way to run.

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