Recently, some Chinese people and media are celebrating the success of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei. On 1 December 2018, while transferring planes at Vancouver International Airport en route to Mexico from Hong Kong, Meng was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at the request of the United States, pursuant to the extradition treaty between Canada and the United States. But now, it seems that she will come back to China soon, although the US wanted her to be in prison in the US. The Chinese government have condemned the "illegal" action of Canada and the US. They seem happy to see Meng's back.

What was negotiated between Ms. Meng, Canada and the US? If it is because the US does not want to arrest her anymore, why did the US government decide to do so? Did the Chinese government play an important role in it?

  • 5
    Meng did not defeat anyone. She sat in the mansion she owns in Canada while governments negotiated. Her part of the process was signing a statement of facts that will probably be used to prosecute her company after she is released. Sep 26, 2021 at 12:30

2 Answers 2


The US Department of Justice dropped its extradition request for her. This followed a deal between the US, Canadian and Chinese governments and Ms Meng's lawyers. With no extradition request, Canada has no legal basis on which to detain her.

The public part of the deal is: Ms Meng agrees to follow certain instructions set by the US court. The court defers prosecution (leaving Ms Meng free to return to China). If Ms Meng follows those instructions, then the case will eventually be dropped. At no point does Ms Meng have to formally admit guilt or liability. But she has had to sign a "Statement of fact" in which she states that she lied to HSBC (the principal claim against her)

It is speculated that there is also a secret part of the deal between the US and China, and the US has been able to use its leverage to obtain concessions from China, but neither country is saying anything.

Principle source

  • 18
    Note that two Canadian business men who were arrested in China shortly after the arrest of Ms Meng and accused of espionage where also liberated when Ms Meng was set free, see for example here: theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/25/…
    – quarague
    Sep 25, 2021 at 17:44
  • 1
    Nice one US: "admit you're guilty and we let you go".
    – Hobbamok
    Sep 27, 2021 at 13:22
  • 2
    Actually all three nations benefitted. China get Meng home and can proclaim that it is China's national power that forced US to back down and released the hostage and proclaim US imperialist bad; US get the incriminating statement and can proclaim China bad; Canada get their hostage back and can also proclaim China bad
    – Faito Dayo
    Sep 27, 2021 at 14:24
  • @Hobbamok: Is it not more like: "Testify against the corporation we are prosecuting and we will let you go"? At least, that's how I read it.
    – Joshua
    Sep 27, 2021 at 20:45
  • @quarague China is not a democratic country, leaders are dictators, esp. Xi nowadays and he shouldn't be qualified as a leader in the first place, knowledge is only elementary school level.
    – user42422
    Apr 2, 2022 at 9:34

Just as a "total coincidence", China has just released two Canadians the day after:

Beijing denies detaining the Canadians in retaliation for Ms Meng's arrest.

But critics have accused China of using them as political bargaining chips.

The two men had maintained their innocence throughout. At a news conference, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said they had been through "an unbelievably difficult ordeal". [...]

The prime minister said both men will arrive in Canada early on Saturday. They are being accompanied by Dominic Barton, Canada's ambassador to China. [...]

In August this year a Chinese court sentenced Mr Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage. There had been no decision in Mr Kovrig's case.

-- https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58687071

Also, the timing of the flights was even closer...

Huawei's Meng Wanzhou flew to Shenzhen on Saturday evening, hours after two Canadians freed by China had gone back. [...]

The apparent swap brings to an end a damaging diplomatic row between Beijing and the West.

Also, the US DOJ has not deferred (or dropped) the case against Huawei as a company. At least according to the FBI, Meng's "statement of fact" constitutes an admission, which I suspect they may be able to use in court against the company.

“In entering into the deferred prosecution agreement, Meng has taken responsibility for her principal role in perpetrating a scheme to defraud a global financial institution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicole Boeckmann for the Eastern District of New York. “Her admissions in the statement of facts confirm that, while acting as the Chief Financial Officer for Huawei, Meng made multiple material misrepresentations to a senior executive of a financial institution regarding Huawei’s business operations in Iran in an effort to preserve Huawei’s banking relationship with the financial institution. The truth about Huawei’s business in Iran, which Meng concealed, would have been important to the financial institution’s decision to continue its banking relationship with Huawei. Meng’s admissions confirm the crux of the government’s allegations in the prosecution of this financial fraud — that Meng and her fellow Huawei employees engaged in a concerted effort to deceive global financial institutions, the U.S. government and the public about Huawei’s activities in Iran.” [...]

“Meng's admissions are evidence of a consistent pattern of deception to violate U.S. law,” said Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate companies doing business in the United States when there are signs they behave with contempt for our laws.”

ZTE was fined $1.1 billion for a similar matter, so you can probably expect a headline-grabbing fine against Huawei as well.

  • This is interesting, but it doesn't answer the question about what ended the detention of Meng Wanzhou.
    – Nic
    Sep 25, 2021 at 14:56
  • 17
    It is a political deal. Continue imprisonment of Meng is seen by US government as a useless tactic to coerce Huawei's, and in extension, China's submission to US interest. And using hostage tactic just leave your moral high ground vulnerable. So a deal is struck that both side exchange hostages and let things rest.
    – Faito Dayo
    Sep 25, 2021 at 16:06
  • 1
    @FaitoDayo Wouldn't you say the US's moral high ground took a hit by offering a very political deal to Wanzhou after repeating for months that our (Canada and US) judiciary was independant from political influence, unlike the Chinese ?
    – J.C
    Sep 27, 2021 at 11:02
  • 2
    @J.C Well, one could argue that the charges against the Canadian were a bit more obscure/secretive politics.stackexchange.com/questions/68099/… Sep 27, 2021 at 13:54
  • 2
    @J.C They already lost that part of moral high ground for their role in robbing Japan's lost decade, taking over a french nuclear company by charging one of its high official with fraud or corruption, their pursuit at Wikileak, and other similar cases. You can't lost moral high ground when you dont have them to begin with. When it come to national--read "ruling class"--interest, judicial indepence is non-existance. China and US is is the same thing, despite their proclaimed difference. And Canada is just that unfortunate one sandwiched between a rock and a hard place.
    – Faito Dayo
    Sep 27, 2021 at 13:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .