Since Biden took office, the United States has denied the company some of the key chip types needed for its equipment, but not all, leading the company to seek self-sufficiency. And there is evidence that by starving the company, it began to drastically reduce Huawei’s profitability and much of its influence.
For its part, the Chinese government has covered the cost of installing Huawei equipment, with the aim of dominating networks from Latin America to the Middle East.
Ms. Meng came to personify this effort. His determination to plug in Tehran, at a time when the West sought to contain Iran’s nuclear program, sparked protests among US officials. For this reason, some hardliners in China opposed the announcement of the dropping of charges on Friday.
“This sends the wrong message to Chinese business leaders around the world that it is permissible to engage in fraudulent transactions with Iran and North Korea,” said Michael Pillsbury, researcher at the Hudson Institute and one of the main Chinese advisers to former President Donald J. Trump. “I’m concerned that another part of the message was that the Biden team approved the sale of certain types of chips and technology to Huawei, which will also undermine the message that Huawei should not be involved in the 5G telecommunications systems of our friends and allies. “
Huawei has been making furious efforts in Washington and Canada to free Ms. Meng. But she declined to plead guilty to banking and electronic fraud charges stemming from Huawei’s Iran deal. Months later, she agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement, which will ultimately lead to all charges being dropped against her.
The case began when Canadian authorities arrested Ms. Meng, 49, in December 2018, at the request of the United States. She owns two stately homes in Vancouver and has been allowed to stay there with an ankle bracelet to find out where she is. She eventually settled into her gated, seven-bedroom mansion in the exclusive Shaughnessy neighborhood, where she received painting lessons and private massages.
She instantly became one of the most famous inmates in the world, not least because she was the daughter of the famous founder and general manager of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army who made her small telecommunications company a national champion.