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Huawei’s CFO Had a Penchant for Rival Apple Products, It Seems

Natalie Obiko Pearson
Huawei’s CFO Had a Penchant for Rival Apple Products, It Seems

(Bloomberg) -- The chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. appears to have had a penchant for products by Apple Inc., one of the Chinese giant’s biggest rivals.

When Canadian police arrested Meng Wanzhou at the behest of the U.S. on a Dec. 1 stopover at Vancouver International Airport, they seized her iPhone 7 Plus, a MacBook Air and an iPad Pro, according to a court filing Friday.

Her defense lawyers filed an application seeking a copy of the data stored on the equipment, and for those devices to be subsequently sealed. The crown prosecution consented and the devices will be transferred "to the British Columbia Supreme Court Registry pending an assessment of solicitor-client privilege," Canada’s justice department said in an email.

Huawei has been known to get touchy when lesser employees have used iPhones -- it demoted and cut the pay of two employees held responsible after the company’s official New Year’s greetings went out "via Twitter for iPhone." China’s biggest telecoms gear maker, which supplanted Apple as the world’s No. 2 smartphone brand in 2018, is gunning for the top spot.

Of course, Meng was a globetrotter prior to being put under house arrest at her luxury Vancouver home, and Huawei products can be difficult to come by in some places -- like the U.S. American officials have claimed Meng, once a frequent U.S. visitor, had avoided the country since April 2017 after becoming aware of a criminal investigation into Huawei. Meng, when detained in Canada, was on her way to Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina and France -- all countries where Huawei sells its devices.

Meng was carrying one product made by Huawei, founded by her billionaire father Ren Zhengfei -- a Huawei Mate 20 RS smartphone featuring a Porsche design, according to a list of devices attached to the court order. She also had a ScanDisk flash drive and a couple of SIM cards.

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