HSBC, Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou settle Hong Kong case seeking documents as she fights extradition

Chad Bray
·2-min read

HSBC reached a settlement on Monday over documents that Huawei Technologies Co. chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is seeking from the bank related to her extradition case as she tries to avoid a criminal trial in the United States.

Meng, who is also known as Sabrina, was detained by Canadian authorities in December 2018 at the request of the US Justice Department. The daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, she is facing bank fraud charges that she misled HSBC about the Chinese telecommunications giant’s business deals in Iran during a 2013 meeting.

She has said she is innocent and her lawyers have been seeking documents from HSBC that they claim show HSBC officials previously knew about Huawei’s dealings in Iran and she did not mislead the bank, negating the US’s extradition request. A court in the United Kingdom previously rejected a similar request for documents from the bank.

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“An agreement has been reached with HSBC in relation to the Hong Kong legal proceedings for document production and an order has been approved by the court,” a Huawei spokeswoman said on Monday.

A HSBC spokeswoman separately confirmed on Monday that an agreement had been reached to resolve the document request.

At a hearing that lasted less than five minutes on Monday, High Court Justice Linda Chan Ching-fan approved an “accord” between the parties that included an agreement on redacting portions of some documents and adding Huawei as a party to the request.

The scope of the agreement in Hong Kong is unclear, as no written order was made public on Monday and much of the Hong Kong case remains under seal. The settlement itself is expected to remain confidential.

The HSBC documents sought by Meng include internal bank papers about its compliance evaluation relating to Huawei and Skycom Tech, the unit used by the Chinese telecommunications company in its business dealings with Iran from December 2012 to April 2015.

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In the Canadian extradition proceedings, Meng’s lawyers have argued in part that the US has no jurisdiction to bring the case and former US President Donald Trump improperly meddled in the matter by attempting to use her arrest as leverage during trade negotiations.

The more-than-two-year extradition battle is coming to a close as the final weeks of hearings in her case are expected to conclude in May, with a decision to follow later.

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