But that kind of caution could make it more difficult still for Huawei to hold on to its business in places like Europe. Already, the United States has been applying pressure on all sides against Huawei, fearing that the Chinese government could use the company’s gear to sabotage other countries’ communication networks.
Previously, Canadian officials had said that Ms. Meng was accused of tricking financial institutions into making transactions that violated United States sanctions on Iran. One of the two indictments unsealed on Monday outlines a broader effort.
The indictment says that Huawei’s misrepresentations to the United States government and four multinational financial institutions began in 2007. It cites an interview between agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mr. Ren around July of that year, in which Mr. Ren said that his company complied with all American laws and that it had not dealt directly with any Iranian company.
The indictment also cites 2012 testimony before the United States Congress in which a Huawei executive said that the company’s business in Iran had not violated sanctions. That executive was Charles Ding, a corporate senior vice president. Mr. Ding, who was not mentioned by name in Monday’s indictment, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Also in the indictment is a reference to a file found on an electronic device that Ms. Meng was carrying when she arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2014. Officials detained her for a couple of hours when she arrived, according to a person with knowledge of the events. During that time, they briefly confiscated her electronic devices, said the person, who asked for anonymity because the events haven’t made public.
The file she was carrying, which the indictment said may have been deleted before being discovered, contained “suggested talking points” about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, the company that prosecutors accuse Huawei of using as an unofficial subsidiary to obtain American-sourced goods, technology and services for its Iranian business.
The indictment also said that Skycom employed at least one United States citizen in Iran, a violation of American law. And it said that after Huawei found out that the United States was pursuing a criminal investigation in 2017, the company destroyed evidence and tried to move unspecified witnesses who knew about its Iranian business to China, beyond the reach of the American government.