Business

Huawei is growing in Canada despite pressure there

Posted February 21, 2019 4:56 p.m. EST

— China's Huawei is growing its presence in Canada, despite intense pressure on the company from the United States and geopolitical tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.

The phone and telecom equipment maker said Thursday that it will add 200 new research and development jobs in Canada, a 20% increase. It will also up its research and development spending there by 15%.

"We are grateful to have the opportunity to work in Canada — a country with one of the most innovative technology communities in the world," said Eric Li, president of Huawei Technologies Canada, in a statement.

The decision comes as the United States tries to persuade its allies to shut out Huawei products from next-generation 5G wireless networks.

US authorities claim that the Chinese government could use Huawei equipment to spy on other nations. Huawei denies that any of its products pose a national security risk. It says it would refuse any request from Beijing to conduct espionage.

The United States is also pursuing criminal charges against the company — a fight that's roped in the country's northern neighbor.

Canadian authorities arrested Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in December at the request of the United States. US officials say Meng helped her employer circumvent US sanctions on Iran.

Meng now faces a court battle in Vancouver that could result in her extradition to New York.

Her arrest has led to a diplomatic standoff between the Chinese and Canadian governments. China has furiously called for Canada to return Meng, and multiple Canadians in China were subsequently detained. Canada has said it's just following the letter of its extradition agreement with the United States.

Meng, who was released in Canada on bail of 10 million Canadian dollars ($7.5 million USD), is due back in court in March.