Two Canadians who were in prison for 3 years were released from China and are heading home after Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, detained on bank fraud and sanction busting charges in December 2018 at the request of the US, was released from Canada.
The Huawei executive struck a deal with the U.S prosecutors to end the bank fraud case against her. Later on Friday, Canadian prosecutors told a court in Vancouver that they had withdrawn efforts to extradite her to the US and that she should be discharged from detention.
She had been under house arrest in her multimillion-dollar Vancouver home for nearly three years.
"My life has been turned upside down. It was a disruptive time for me," Ms. Meng told reporters after being freed from Canadian detention.
"Every cloud has a silver lining," she continued, adding: "I will never forget all the good wishes I received from people around the world."
Ms. Meng is the elder daughter of billionaire Ren Zhengfei, who set up Huawei in 1987. The company is now the largest telecom equipment maker in the world.
Earlier accusations were imposed on Huawei that their equipment could favor the Chinese authorities on acts of espionage - allegations it denies.
Apart from the U.S, UK, Sweden, Australia, and Japan have also banned Huawei, while other countries including France and India have adopted measures stopping short of an outright ban.
Late on Friday evening, Justin Trudeau announced that the two Canadians imprisoned in China, namely Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were on board a flight from China and returning to their home country. Addressing the media in Ottawa, he further said, “These two men have gone through an unbelievably difficult ordeal. For the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance, resilience, and grace.”
Ms. Meng's agreement with the US may contribute to paving way for the two Canadians' release, but it is far from releasing tensions in China-Canada relations, experts say.
The US charges against Huawei remain, and the company is still on a trade blacklist. Other Chinese tech companies with operations in the US, such as social media company TikTok, are also facing scrutiny.