Huawei Exec Under House Arrest In Canada Is Holed Up In A $10 Million Mansion

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou has spent the past six months in a multi-million dollar Canadian home as the executive faces allegations of attempting to evade U.S. trade sanctions on Iran.

Meng describes her house arrest in Vancouver as “restricted to a limited space,” even though the home has six bedrooms and five bathrooms, Reuters reported Monday. Her complaints and relative luxurious living quarters come as two Canadians are detained in solitary confinement in China without access to attorneys or bail.

“Despite being physically restricted to a very limited space during my time in Vancouver, my inner self has never felt so colorful and vast,” Meng wrote in a May 6 letter on the Xinsheng Community, a social network for the 188,000 Huawei employees. Experts say the difference between the two situations is astounding. (RELATED: US Seeks To Extradite Huawei’s CFO After She’s Arrested In Canada) 

“The difference between the terms of detention of Madame Meng and the two Canadians is going to just jump off the page,” Paul Evans, a professor at the University of British Columbia and expert on China and Canada relations, told reporters. By contrast, the two arrested Canadians — businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig — were picked up in December after Canada arrested Meng.

A scratched surface Huawei logo is seen on a smarthphone in this illustration picture taken May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

A judge in British Columbia granted Meng’s request to shift to a $10 million house earlier in May. Luxmore Realty describes the Huawei executive’s new, posh residence as an 8,170 square feet home with seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms. Meng’s bigger mansion is fully fenced amid security concerns according to court filings.

It is no not clear where Kovrig and Spavor are being held, though Canadian diplomats say they are living in a room where the lights are not allowed to be turned off. The turmoil between China-based Huawei and the United States came to a head in January when the Trump administration officially targeted the company’s executive.

The Department of Justice charged Huawei in January on several counts of fraud as U.S. President Donald Trump applies more pressure on China’s beleaguered economy. The 13-count indictment accuses Huawei of bank fraud, wire fraud, and violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Huawei is also charged with conspiring to obstruct justice related to the DOJ’s investigation. The president is hitting the company in other ways.

Trump placed restrictions on May 15 on technologies from China. The move causes Huawei to reportedly lose access to updates to the Android operating system, as well as the next version of Google’s smartphones. The move is expected to deny the company access to critical applications.

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