Of the more than 180,000 employees who have Huawei distributed all over the world, Canada (at the request of the united States) has opted to stop his executive higher profile. Meng Wanzhou, in addition to being chief financial officer and vice president of this group of telecommunications chinese, is also the daughter of the founder of the company and a strong candidate to inherit the helm of one of the chinese companies with greater international projection. Meng, whose arrest opened a new front in the tense relations between Beijing and Washington, now faces a possible extradition to the united States to respond, in the name of the company from his father, for alleged violations of the US sanctions on Iran.
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Meng, 46, is part of one of the most powerful families in China. Her father is Ren Zhengfei, an engineer and an ex military man, that in 1987 he founded Huawei in the city of Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong that has become the icon of the process of economic opening of China and is considered to be the technological hub in Asia. The company, of private capital, is one of the few companies in the country that has managed to carve a niche significant in the international market. Not only is one of the main actors in mobile telephony, but the leader in telecommunications infrastructures around the world.
Father and daughter do not share a surname because at the age of 16 she decided to adopt the name of his mother, something quite unusual in the asian country, when their parents decided to divorce. After studying accounting and working for a little over a year in a state bank, Meng joined the company from his father in 1993. In the beginning he served as secretary, dealing with purely administrative tasks or to attend to the phone. Over the years he has been climbing, always in the areas of accounting and finance. In march she became the vice president of the group, which analysts interpreted as a final step that puts it in the first line to the succession of Ren, 74 years of age.
As with his father, very little is known about the personal life of this executive. In one of his rare interviews, published in the local press in 2013, Meng said that her husband is not connected with the industry in which she works and has a son and a daughter. Then he was asked about the possibility of her father to appoint chief executive officer, but she denied those rumors: “How is it possible that a single person can decide this? From the day that Huawei was founded, it established the principle of appointment by merit, not by nepotism.”
His discretion has become apparent also during his arrest last December 1, as requested canadian justice prohibiting the publication of details of the event. The arrest came the same day that Trump and chinese president, Xi Jinping, dined in Buenos Aires and agreed to the fragile truce commercial. According to The Wall Street Journal, Meng would have been placed under custody because Huawei would have transferred technology and products made on american soil to Iran, something that is not allowed by u.s. law.
Huawei, a company in the spotlight
With the arrest of Meng Wanzhou opens a new front in the tense conflict between Beijing and Washington, which clearly transcends the commercial. Huawei is, in part, to what he aspires China in your set: to leave behind the series production and inexpensive way to become a leader in innovation. When in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei founded the company, the initial capital was little more than 2600 euros. Last year, the revenue of the company amounted to 77.000 million and its net profit exceeded 6,000 million.
The group is also a symbol of what America fears: Beijing to achieve the technological lead of its coast. In fact, the U.S. has greatly limited the business of Huawei in the country, citing reasons of national security, based on the suspicion that behind the company are the chinese authorities, or that their devices are used for cyber-espionage. Some western Governments fear that Beijing will get access to the mobile communication networks and fifth-generation (5G) through the technology of Huawei, although the company insists that there is no type of control of the chinese regime. The fact that Ren worked as an engineer for the people's Liberation Army before founding Huawei is another one of the arguments of those who insist on these links, although he never held a military capacity.
But, as happens with the founding family, the technology company also keeps its secrets. By not trading on the Stock exchange, its shareholder and corporate structure are opaque. Huawei declares about “a private company wholly owned by its employees”, but almost nothing is known of the names and surnames behind.