What happened: New corporate filings and other documents found in Iran and Syria reveal Huawei’s ties to Skycom, an equipment seller that operates in Tehran, may be deeper than previously thought. The records show that a high-level Huawei executive has been appointed Skycom’s Iran manager and that at least 3 Chinese-named individuals had signing rights for both Huawei and Skycom’s bank accounts. A lawyer in the region said Huawei conducted operations in Syria through a shell company named Canicula Holdings, which owns Skycom. Huawei has maintained the two companies are not its subsidiaries.
Why it’s important: The new documents may bolster the US’ case against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada in December for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran and other countries. US authorities suspect Meng deceived US banks in order to clear hundreds of millions of dollars of sanction-breaking transactions. The discoveries also come at a delicate time. The US has been rallying against Chinese telecom equipment companies, namely Huawei and ZTE, amid escalating trade tensions with China.