HSBC denies Chinese media reports that ‘framed’ Huawei

BEIJING (Reuters) – HSBC on Saturday denied Chinese media reports of having “framed” Huawei Technologies and played a role in the arrest of the chief financial officer (CFO) of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker.

FILE PHOTO: HSBC Headquarters lights up in Hong Kong’s Central Business District on November 3, 2015. REUTERS / Bobby Yip / File Photo

In a statement posted to the bank’s Chinese messaging service WeChat account, the London-based lender said it was not involved in the decision by the United States Department of Justice to investigate Huawei.

HSBC’s statement comes a day after China’s official People’s Daily newspaper published a report accusing HSBC of being an accessory to the United States and lying about Huawei, resulting in the arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou.

Meng was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport with an order from the United States.

US authorities accuse her of bank fraud for misleading HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran, putting HSBC at risk of fines and penalties for violating US sanctions against Tehran.

“The context of the development of the Huawei incident clearly shows that Huawei’s US investigation was not triggered by HSBC,” the bank said in its WeChat post, without directly referring to the People’s Daily report.

“HSBC has no malice against Huawei, nor has it ‘framed’ Huawei,” he said.

“In response to requests for information from the US Department of Justice, HSBC provided only objective information. HSBC has not “fabricated” “hidden” evidence or facts, nor will it distort the facts or harm any customer for our own benefit. ”

The People’s Daily report on Friday alleged that HSBC was aware of Huawei’s business in Iran and that it had been “cheating” for the company since 2012.

Other Chinese media, including the China Global Television Network, have made similar allegations against HSBC.

Meng is fighting extradition to the United States and has said he is innocent. She has been under house arrest in Vancouver since her arrest.

Report by Gabriel Crossley; Sumeet Chatterjee and Mark Potter Edition

Our Standards:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.