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Security

Huawei's CFO heading home after deferred prosecution deal reached

Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou may be heading home to China soon, according to sources cited in a story by The Wall Street Journal.

The story said that the US Justice Department has reached a deal that will allow for Meng to admit some wrongdoing and to agree to deferred prosecution in exchange for being allowed to return home. As part of the deal, the wire and bank fraud charges would eventually be dropped, negating the need for Meng to be extradited and to stand trial in the US.

The agreement between the sides will be entered in court today, according to The WSJ's sources.

Meng, daughter of Huawei Founder Ren Zhengfei, has been in custody in Canada since 2018 and most recently was able to see her family during the spring. She is accused by US authorities of lying to HSBC about her company's relationship with Skycom, an equipment maker that sold products into Iran. She has been fighting a US extradition request ever since.

Over the summer, Huawei and Meng's legal team had hoped to mount a stirring defense against US fraud accusations but those efforts were stopped short as the Canadian judge declined to allow documents from HSBC into evidence. As a ruling on Meng's extradition drew closer, she apparently has agreed to admit some wrongdoing as part of the deal, something that had been turned down earlier when it was offered by the previous US administration.

The US sanctions against Huawei stand haven't changed, of course. The US has accused Huawei of being an agent of China's communist government and a security risk. Huawei denies this, and the US hasn't publicly proved that there's been any merit to the accusations. The US has also leaned on allies near and far to take the same anti-Huawei stance.

The US strategy of keeping the Chinese vendor from selling to and sourcing from US-related suppliers is working. During the first half of this year, Huawei reported that its revenue dropped 29.4% to $49.6 billion, with both carrier and consumer businesses falling by double digits.

Here are the most recent stories on the Huawei executive's fight to avoid going to trial in the US:

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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