On December 1st, officials in Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of tech giant Huawei and the daughter of the company’s founder, on behalf of the United States government. Meng is suspected of helping Huawei to violate US sanctions on Iran and is awaiting extradition to the United States.
The Chinese state media has denounced the detainment of Meng and has called the United States a “despicable rogue,” accusing the US of trying to weaken one of China’s best-known companies and, as a result, hinder China’s growth in the international technology community. In addition, the Chinese government summoned the Canadian ambassador to protest the detention, calling it “unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature” and warning of “grave consequences” if she is not released. For the past year, smartphones and other networking equipment manufactured by Huawei have been considered a national security risk by the US and other countries.
As China continues to denounce the actions of the United States and Canada’s support for these actions, trade tensions continue to mount between the two countries. In the past, China has used indirect methods to put pressure on governments such as making it more difficult to conduct normal business activities in the country and not allowing business executives to leave the country at will. As such, organizations are becoming concerned about the risks that may threaten their operations in China and specifically their travelers to China as a result of this tension.
WorldAware’s intelligence and security experts answer three important questions about the risks of travel to China and what to do if detained.