The U.S. Department of Justice is formally levelling 23 criminal charges against Chinese tech juggernaut Huawei Technologies, multiple subsidiaries and chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.
"As you can tell from the number of and magnitude of charges, Huawei and its senior executives repeatedly refused to respect the laws of the United States and the standard worldwide business practices".
There have also been reports by the Wall Street Journal and others that the Justice Department was nearing an indictment related to allegations that Huawei stole robotic technology from carrier T-Mobile US Inc to test smartphones' durability.
Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, New York prosecutors, and representatives of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are among those present at the announcement.
Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker says the department is proceeding with its extradition efforts against Meng, who was detained December 1 at the request of the US upon arriving at the airport in Vancouver.
"As you can tell from the number and magnitude of the charges, Huawei and its senior executives repeatedly refused to respect USA law and standard global business practices", said FBI Director Chris Wray. Meng's arrest sparked outrage in China, which called for her immediate release and condemned the move as a US - led effort to thwart the telecom giant and constrain China's global ambitions.
"Ambassador McCallum's comments were inconsistent with the position of the government of Canada. and that is what made it untenable for (him) to remain in his role", Freeland told reporters in what was the first official explanation of McCallum's dismissal.
The case has badly strained relations between China, Canada and the US. Canada's justice minister then has up to 30 days to assess the request. Meng has said that she is innocent.
The United States, which has until Wednesday to formally request her extradition, said last week it would press ahead with the case. That order could come as early as next month, two officials said.
Shortly after, in a move widely seen as retaliation for Meng's arrest, Chinese authorities detained two Canadians, including a former diplomat, on security charges. A Chinese court later retried a Canadian man who had been jailed for drugs smuggling and sentenced him to death.