HSBC denies Chinese media reports that it ‘framed’ Huawei as part of US conspiracy

Chinese media outlets accused HSBC of being a US accomplice and ‘setting traps’ for Huawei. (Reuters)
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Updated 26 July 2020

HSBC denies Chinese media reports that it ‘framed’ Huawei as part of US conspiracy

  • ‘HSBC has no malice against Huawei, nor has it “framed” Huawei’

BEIJING: HSBC on Saturday denied Chinese media reports that it had “framed” Huawei Technologies and played a role in the arrest of the chief financial officer (CFO) of the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker.

In a statement posted on the bank’s Chinese WeChat messaging service account, the London-headquartered lender said it did not participate in the decision of the US Department of Justice to investigate Huawei.

The HSBC statement comes a day after China’s official People’s Daily newspaper published a report accusing HSBC of being an accomplice of the US and lying about Huawei, resulting in the arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou.

Meng was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport on a warrant from US authorities.

She is accused by the US of bank fraud for misleading HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran, putting HSBC at risk of fines and penalties for breaking US sanctions on Tehran.

“The context of the development of the Huawei incident clearly shows that the US investigation of Huawei was not triggered by HSBC,” the bank said in its WeChat post, without directly referring to the People’s Daily report.

“HSBC has no malice against Huawei, nor has it ‘framed’ Huawei,” it said.

“In response to information requests from the US Department of Justice, HSBC only provided factual information. HSBC has not ‘fabricated’ evidence or ‘concealed’ facts, nor will it distort facts or harm any customers for our own benefit.”

The People’s Daily report on Friday alleged HSBC was well aware of Huawei’s business in Iran, and had been “setting traps” for the company since 2012.

Other Chinese media, including the China Global Television Network, have made similar allegations against HSBC.

Meng is fighting extradition to the US and has said she is innocent. She has been in house arrest in Vancouver since her detainment.


Scammers fool Britons with investment firm clones, says trade body

Updated 21 min 50 sec ago

Scammers fool Britons with investment firm clones, says trade body

  • Losses amounted to 9.4 million pounds ($12.56 million) between March and mid-October

LONDON: More than 200 British retail investors have lost nearly 10 million pounds ($13.4 million) in total to sophisticated investment scams since a government lockdown in March to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a trade body said on Saturday.
Fraudsters cloned genuine investment management firms’ websites and documentation, and advertised fake products on sham price comparison websites and on social media, the Investment Association said.
Greater financial uncertainty and more time spent online have likely contributed to the increase in scams, industry sources say.
Losses amounted to 9.4 million pounds ($12.56 million) between March and mid-October, the IA said, based on information it got from member firms which had been cloned.
“In a year clouded in uncertainty, organized criminals have sought opportunity in misfortune by attempting to con investors out of their hard-earned savings,” Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association said.
The investment management industry was working closely with police and regulators to stop the scams, he added.
Britain’s Action Fraud warned earlier this month that total reported losses from all types of investment fraud came to 657 million pounds between September 2019 and September 2020, a rise of 28% from a year ago. Reports spiked between May and September, following Britain’s first national lockdown, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting center added.