On Thursday, Liang Hua, the Chairman of Huawei, said that the company is committed to increasing its investment in Canada despite the arrest of its chief financial officer by Canadian authorities at the request of the United States last December.
Liang spoke to some reporters after the Chinese telecommunications firm said that it would increase its research and development investment in Canada by 15 percent in 2019 and add 200 R&D jobs, expanding its workforce by approximately 20 percent.
Liang stated: “We won’t change our approach on R&D investments and we’ll continue to step up our investment in R&D in Canada.”
He added: “We would like to work further with the telecom operators.”
The company’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou is also the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, its founder. She has been charged with bank and wire fraud in violation of American sanctions against Iran.
Liang said that he believed that the arrest of a senior executive on such charges was “not common and rare.” He added that he could not say that the charges were not politically driven. Meng is fighting for a request of a U.S. extradition.
He stated: “I hope that she can be freed and that she can reunite with her family, but I’m not a lawyer so I cannot comment on the substance of the case.”
After Meng was detained, China arrested two Canadians on grounds of national security, and a Chinese court later sentenced a Canadian man who previously had only been jailed for drug smuggling to death.
Liang said that the current relationship between Canada and China is “not ideal.”
He stated: “We are aware that there are some problems which need to be solved between the two countries.”
Canada is considering whether to allow Huawei to serve as its supplier of equipment to 5G networks, the latest generation of cellular mobile communications. Some of the allies of Canada have imposed restrictions, citing the risk of espionage.
Liang stated that he hoped that any decision would be based on the merits of the technology of the company rather than other factors.