Huawei suffered a period of woe in Canada as Reuters claimed to have unearthed evidence which undermines a key aspect of CFO Meng Wanzhou’s defence against extradition to the US, while the vendor also lost out on two major 5G awards from operators Bell Canada and Telus.

Reuters stated newly uncovered documents showed Huawei moved to mask its relationship with Skycom Tech several years ago, when the news agency first reported a connection between the companies.

Skycom Tech is accused of breaching a US trade embargo on Iran, a key element leading to the arrest of Meng in 2018.

If accurate, the latest Reuters assertion appears to undermine Huawei and Meng’s defence of allegations they lied to banks about the vendor’s relationship with Skycom Tech.

5G hit
It would also mark a Canadian double-whammy for Huawei, with the report published shortly after key operators in the country opted to award fresh 5G contracts to Nokia and Ericsson.

An ongoing security assessment by Canadian officials appeared to be the reason behind decisions from Bell Canada and Telus to exclude Huawei.

Bell Canada supplemented an earlier deal with Nokia by awarding a contract to Ericsson covering radio equipment for next-generation mobile and fixed wireless access services, while Telus stated Nokia and Ericsson would provide its 5G kit, an apparent turnaround from its stance in February when CFO Doug French told Financial Post Huawei was part of its plans.

Canadian officials initiated the review of 5G security risks, including those allegedly posed by Huawei, in late 2018, but have yet to issue a decision on whether operators will be allowed to use equipment from the Chinese vendor.

A Bell Canada representative told Mobile World Live it would consider working with Huawei if the government gives a green light, noting it found the company to be “a reliable and innovative partner in the past”.