Meng Wanzhou

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Meng Wanzhou
Meng Wanzhou at Russia Calling! Investment Forum.jpg
Meng Wanzhou at Russia Calling!
Investment Forum in 2014
Native name
Ren Wanzhou

(1972-02-13) 13 February 1972 (age 46)
ResidenceShenzhen, Guangdong, China
Other namesSabrina Meng or Cathy Meng
EducationHuazhong University of Science and Technology
OccupationBusiness executive
Years active1993–present
TitleDeputy Chairwoman and CFO, Huawei
Liu Xiaozong (m. 2007)
RelativesRen Ping (brother)
Annabel Yao (half-sister)
Chinese name

Meng Wanzhou (Chinese: 孟晚舟; born 13 February 1972[2]), also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng,[3] is a Chinese business executive. She is deputy chairwoman of the board and chief financial officer (CFO) of China's largest private company, the telecom giant Huawei founded by her father Ren Zhengfei.

On 1 December 2018, Meng was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States for allegedly defrauding multiple financial institutions in breach of US-imposed bans on dealing with Iran.

Early life and education[edit]

Meng Wanzhou was born in Chengdu, Sichuan Province in 1972,[3] the daughter of Ren Zhengfei and his first wife Meng Jun.[4] She adopted her mother's surname when she was 16.[5]

After graduating from college in 1992, she worked for China Construction Bank for a year before joining Huawei, a startup founded by her father, as a secretary.[5][6] She attended graduate school in 1997 to study accounting and earned a master's degree from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.[7] She moved to Vancouver, Canada and obtained permanent residency in 2001,[8] which was abandoned in 2009. Meng also has Hong Kong permanent residence since at least 2011.[8]


In an interview with the Chinese newspaper 21st Century Business Herald, she said her career took off after she returned to Huawei in 1998 to work in the finance department.[5] She held positions including head of international accounting, CFO of Huawei Hong Kong, and director of the Accounting Management Department.[7]

When Huawei first published the names of its top executives in 2011, Meng was already listed as its CFO. In March 2018, she was appointed one of the four vice chairpersons of the board, fueling speculation that she was being groomed to eventually succeed her father, although Ren has denied that. He has told Sina Tech that "none of my family members possess [suitable] qualities" and "will never be included in the sequence of successors".[9]

As of December 2018, Meng serves as deputy chairwoman and CFO of Huawei,[10] China's largest private company with 180,000 employees.[6] In 2017, Forbes ranked Meng at No. 8 in its list of Outstanding Businesswomen of China, while Huawei chairwoman Sun Yafang was ranked second.[11]


On 1 December 2018, while transferring planes at Vancouver International Airport en route to Mexico from Hong Kong, Meng was arrested by Canadian authorities at an extradition request of the United States.[12][13][10][14] On 7 December, it was revealed that the arrest warrant was issued on 22 August 2018 by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York;[15] according to the prosecutor in Canadian court, Meng was "charged with conspiracy to defraud multiple international institutions".[16] The warrant was based on allegations of a conspiracy to defraud banks which had cleared money that was claimed to be for Huawei, but was actually for Skycom,[17] an entity claimed to be entirely controlled by Huawei, which was said to be dealing in Iran, contrary to sanctions. According to the defense lawyer, the bank involved in the dealings was HSBC. The allegations were rejected by the defense lawyer saying Meng did not break any US or Canadian law.[18] The Crown counsel said that the case against Meng stemmed from a 2013 Reuters report about the company's close ties to Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech, which attempted to sell U.S. equipment to Iran despite U.S. and European Union bans.[19]

From 7 to 11 December, Meng attended a bail hearing in Vancouver. She was released on a CAD $10 million bail[20] that was granted with conditions, including electronic surveillance.[21]


Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the federal government was aware of the intended arrest but had no involvement in the process.[22] A White House official stated that "President Donald Trump did not know about a U.S. request for her extradition from Canada before he met Chinese President Xi Jinping and agreed to a 90-day truce in the brewing trade war",[23] while U.S. National Security Advisor John R. Bolton said that he knew in advance of Meng's arrest.[24]

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said that Meng Wanzhou's arrest was a 'a criminal justice matter' that should have no impact on the trade talks between both countries,[25] but Trump said he could intervene, in order to get a good trade deal with China.[26][27] U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added, foreign policy must be taken into consideration in this case, and the mission is "America First".[28][29] The remarks were met by criticism.[30][31]

The Chinese embassy in Canada issued a strong statement condemning her arrest and the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the Canadian and American ambassadors in protest over the detention.[32][33] Chinese media have alleged that the arrest is part of an attempt by the U.S. to stifle Huawei and its other tech companies.[34][35]

On 9 December 2018, the government of China told Canadian ambassador John McCallum that Meng's arrest "severely violated the Chinese citizen's legal and legitimate rights and interests, it is lawless, reasonless and ruthless, and it is extremely vicious" and warned of "serious consequences" unless Meng was released.[36] The subsequent arrest of former diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing may be part of those consequences, according to former Canadian ambassador Guy Saint-Jacques.[37] Shortly afterwards China detained businessman Michael Spavor, another Canadian national, in an escalating diplomatic row.[38]

US stock markets fell sharply as news of the arrest intensified concerns about the ongoing trade war but mostly recovered by the end of the day.[39]

Personal life[edit]

Meng's mother is Ren Zhengfei's first wife Meng Jun, the daughter of Meng Dongbo, a former deputy secretary of East China Military and Administrative Committees and deputy governor of Sichuan Province. She has a younger brother Ren Ping (formerly Meng Ping), who also works for Huawei.[4] After divorcing Meng Jun, Ren Zhengfei married Yao Ling, with whom he had another daughter, Annabel Yao, who is 25 years younger than Meng. Annabel Yao made a high-profile debut at Le Bal des Débutantes in Paris in November 2018.[4]

In 2007, Meng married businessman Liu Xiaozong (Chinese: 劉曉棕)[1] who formerly worked for Huawei for ten years.[40][41][42] They have a daughter, and Meng also has three sons from previous marriages.[43]

Meng and her husband own two multi-million dollar residences in Vancouver, British Columbia.[44] From 2001 to 2009,[43] Meng was a permanent resident of Canada.[45] She is currently a permanent resident of Hong Kong since at least 2011.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Zhong, Raymond (2018-12-07). "Meng Wanzhou Was Huawei's Professional Face, Until Her Arrest". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  4. ^ a b c "The tale of Huawei founder's daughters born 25 years apart". South China Morning Post. 2018-12-06. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  5. ^ a b c Pham, Sherisse (2018-12-07). "Who is Meng Wanzhou, the Chinese exec wanted by the US?". CNN.
  6. ^ a b Vanderklippe, Nathan (2018-12-05). "Arrest of Huawei's Meng Wanzhou sparks fury in China". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  7. ^ a b "驻加使馆:已向美加提出严正交涉,要求恢复孟晚舟人身自由". The Paper. 2018-12-06. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ "Huawei's Arrested CFO Rose Through Ranks Despite Father's Rebuke". Bloomberg. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018. Ren Zhengfei laid out qualities a successor should have, including vision, character and industry-specific knowledge.
  10. ^ a b Wakabayashi, Daisuke; Rappeport, Alan (2018-12-05). "A Top Huawei Executive Is Arrested in Canada for Extradition to the U.S." The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  11. ^ "2017福布斯中国最杰出商界女性排行榜". Forbes. 2017. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
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  13. ^ Fife, Robert (5 December 2018). "Canada arrests Huawei's global chief financial officer in Vancouver". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  14. ^ Horowitz, Julia (6 December 2018). "Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrested in Canada, faces extradition to United States". CNN. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  15. ^ "US case against Huawei CFO revealed in Canadian court". Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. 7 December 2018.
  16. ^ "US case against Huawei CFO revealed in Canadian court". CBC Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. CBC News. 7 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Huawei exec committed fraud by deceiving multiple banks: Crown". Vancouver Sun. Bloomberg Technology. 8 December 2018. Gibb-Carsley said that at the heart of the allegations against Huawei and Meng is that between 2009 and 2014, the company used an unofficial subsidiary named Skycom to transact business in Iran for an Iranian telecommunications company, in violation of U.S. sanctions against trade with Iran
  18. ^ "Chinese state media says U.S. trying to 'stifle' Huawei with arrest". Bloomberg. Bloomberg Technology. 7 December 2018.
  19. ^ "U.S. accuses Huawei CFO of Iran sanctions cover-up; hearing adjourned". Reuters. Reuters. December 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "Huawei CFO facing extradition to US released on $10 million bail". CNN Business. 11 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou granted bail, will live in Vancouver under electronic surveillance". Global News. 2018-12-11. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "White House, Trudeau seek to distance themselves from Huawei move". Reuters. Reuters. December 6, 2018.
  24. ^ "National security advisor John Bolton says 'I knew in advance' about arrest of Huawei executive – Trump reportedly did not". CNBC. December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
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  30. ^ "Trump intervention comment may be gift to Huawei CFO". Reuters. Reuters. December 12, 2018.
  31. ^ Ljunggren, David (December 12, 2018). "Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition cases". Reuters. Reuters.
  32. ^ Yong Xiong and Susannah Cullinane (9 December 2018). "". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2018. External link in |title= (help)
  33. ^ Chinese Embassy in Ottawa Statement
  34. ^ "Chinese state media says U.S. trying to 'stifle' Huawei with arrest". Reuters. Reuters. December 6, 2018.
  35. ^ "'Basically kidnapping': China's state media lashes out at Canada over arrest of Huawei executive". Global News. 7 December 2018.
  36. ^ "China summons US, Canadian ambassadors in 'strong protest ' over Huawei CFO's Arrest". CNN. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  37. ^ Reuters (12 December 2018). "ICG: No word from China on detained Canadian employee". The Japan News. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  38. ^ Smith, Josh; Ljunggren, David (13 December 2018). "Detained in China: Canadian businessman known for ties to North Korean leader". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  39. ^ Stevenson, Alexandra; Phillips, Matt (2018-12-06). "Markets Drop as Huawei Arrest Stokes Fears of U.S.–China Cold War". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
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  43. ^ a b Bloomberg (9 December 2018). "Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou cites multi-million dollar homes in Vancouver and health issues in bail bid". Straits Times. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  44. ^ Derrick Penner (7 December 2018). "Huawei executive arrested at YVR appears to have family ties to Vancouver homes". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  45. ^ Reuters (8 December 2018). "Chinese foreign ministry warns of consequences with Meng Wanzhou's bail hearing set to resume Monday". CBC. Retrieved 10 December 2018.