Huawei Executive Meng Wanzhou Could Return to China After Reaching Deal With DOJ

Meng Wanzhou, an executive at the Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies, could return to China after reaching a deal with the Justice Department to resolve criminal charges against her, according to her lawyer and a letter from the Justice Department, the Associated Press said.

Meng, Huawei's chief financial officer and daughter of the company's founder, has reached a resolution known as a deferred prosecution. In the deal, a defendant must agree to abide by certain conditions in exchange for the Justice Department ultimately dropping the case.

On Friday, the Justice Department submitted a letter to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly saying it would address "a resolution of the charges against the defendant in this matter" at a hearing later in the day, CNN reported.

Meng is expected to plead guilty to minor counts, and more serious charges would be dropped, the BBC reported.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Meng Wanzhou
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, has reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that may allow her to return to China. Above, Meng leaves her Vancouver home to attend her extradition hearing in the British Columbia Supreme Court on August 4. Don MacKinnon/AFP via Getty Images

The agreement, set to be disclosed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday, resolves a years-long legal and geopolitical tussle that involved not only the U.S. and China but also Canada, where Meng has remained since her arrest there in December 2018.

Reid Weingarten, a lawyer for Meng, confirmed in an email the existence of the agreement but did not immediately provide additional details.

A spokesperson for Huawei declined to comment.

The Trump administration's Justice Department unsealed criminal charges in 2019, just before a crucial two-day round of trade talks between the U.S. and China, that accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and said Meng had committed fraud by misleading banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.

The indictment accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder, fought the Justice Department's extradition request, and her lawyers called the case against her flawed. Last month, a Canadian judge reserved her decision on whether Meng should be extradited to the U.S. after a Canadian Justice Department lawyer wrapped up his case by saying there's enough evidence to show she was dishonest and deserves to stand trial in the U.S.

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies, and some analysts say Chinese companies have flouted international rules and norms amid allegations of technology theft. The company represents China's progress in becoming a technological power and has been a subject of U.S. security and law enforcement concerns.

It has repeatedly denied the U.S. government's allegations and the security concerns about its products.

Huawei CFO Trial
Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou smiles as she leaves her home in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Friday. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP