Meng Wanzhou isn’t just any C-suite executive. As the daughter of Huawei Technologies founder Ren Zhengfei and a possible heir to his company, her arrest in Canada raises the stakes in an already complicated standoff between the US and China.
The chief financial officer in her mid-40s was born to Meng Jun, the daughter of a senior Sichuan government official, and Ren, an army engineer. In 1987, her father started Huawei, and over the next three decades it would expand to become China’s biggest maker of smartphones and telecommunications equipment. Meng and Ren had two children: Wanzhou and her younger brother Ren Ping.
Since joining Huawei over 20 years ago, Meng has gone from helping out at sales exhibitions to become a central figure in the company’s leadership — though the question of whether she will eventually take over from her father remains. Despite her family’s wealth and connections, the executive has eschewed the socialite lifestyle embraced by her younger half-sister, a ballerina studying at Harvard University.
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