The arrest by Canadian officials earlier this month of the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, left many wondering why this company, and its executives, are the subject of so much focus by the U.S. government. Few people outside China have knowledge about the origin of Huawei. Founded in 1987, Huawei now employs 170,000 people, among them 76,000 R&D staff. It is poised to be the No. 1 smartphone maker in 2019, surpassing Apple.

But there’s something else that makes Huawei so interesting to the U.S. — its origins.

The founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, the father of Meng Wanzhou, served for 14 years as an engineer in the Chinese military in the 1970s. He married the daughter of the powerful lieutenant-governor of Sichuan Province. The father-in-law helped Huawei to obtain government contracts worth millions. Later in 1992, Sun Yafang, a state security officer, joined Huawei and later became the chairman of its board. Sun’s appointment is said to have solidified the partnership between Huawei and the Chinese intelligence agencies.

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Sasha Gong – National Post – December 19, 2018.

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