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Huawei’s India CEO Tells Court “I am a Chinese National, Not a Terrorist”

File image of the Huawei Research and Development Centre in Bangalore, India. Manjunath KIRAN / AFP

Huawei’s CEO for India, Li Xiongli, borrowed a line from a popular Indian movie in a court plea on Friday to be released on bail following his arrest on tax charges. “I am a Chinese (national) and not a terrorist,” Li said through his lawyer, cribbing the line from the 2010 Bollywood blockbuster My Name is Khan where the star, Shah Rukh Khan said, “My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist.”

Prosecutors countered by urging the court not to release Li on bail since India does not have an extradition treaty with China, noting that it would be impossible to compel the executive to return for trial.

Li was deemed a flight risk earlier this spring when authorities stopped him from boarding a plane to Bangkok where he was going to attend a conference. 

Both Li and Huawei India are under investigation by the government for financial irregularities. The inquiry into Huawei is part of a broader crackdown by New Delhi on Chinese tech companies operating in the country.

The legal action against Li has prompted other Chinese telecom companies, including Huawei’s spun-off brand Honor, to withdraw their Chinese expatriate staff from India.


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