Huawei CFO linked to firm that offered Hewlett-Packard gear to Iran
By Steve Stecklow, ReutersLONDON -- A Hong Kong-based firm that attempted to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran's largest mobile-phone operator has much closer ties to China's Huawei Technologies than was previously known, corporate records show.
February 1, 2013, 2:59 pm TWN
Cathy Meng, Huawei's chief financial officer and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, served on the board of Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. between February 2008 and April 2009, according to Skycom records filed with Hong Kong's Companies Registry.
Reuters reported last month that in late 2010, Skycom's office in Tehran offered to sell at least 1.3 million euros worth of HP gear to Mobile Telecommunication Co. of Iran, despite U.S. trade sanctions. At least 13 pages of the proposal were marked “Huawei confidential” and carried Huawei's logo. Huawei said neither it nor Skycom ultimately provided the HP equipment; HP said it prohibits the sale of its products to Iran.
Huawei has described Skycom as one of its “major local partners.”
But a review by Reuters of corporate records and other documents found numerous financial and other links over the past decade between Huawei, Meng and Skycom, suggesting a closer relationship between the two firms. In 2007, for instance, a management company controlled by Huawei's parent company held all of Skycom's shares. At the time, Meng served as the management firm's company secretary.
Meng, who also goes by the name Meng Wanzhou, appears to be a rising star at Shenzhen-based Huawei, now the world's second-largest maker of telecommunications equipment. During a presentation of Huawei's financial results last week in Beijing, she met foreign journalists in an on-the-record session that was reported to be a first for anyone in her family.
“We will honor our commitment to transparency and openness,” she told the journalists.
Meng did not respond to a request for comment for this article. Huawei declined to make her available for an interview, or answer any specific questions about the company's or her links to Skycom.
In an emailed statement, Huawei said, “The relationship between Huawei and Skycom is a normal business partnership. Huawei has established a trade compliance system which is in line with industry best practices and our business in Iran is in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including those of the U.N. We also require our partners, such as Skycom, to make the same commitments.”
A Hong Kong accountancy and secretarial firm that Skycom has listed in financial filings as its corporate secretary, did not respond to a request for comment.