Chief financial officer of China's Huawei arrested in Canada

Marcus Newton
December 7, 2018

The expectation did not keep the price of oil from falling, however, as investors focused on the potential economic disruption from any escalation in the US-China trade dispute.

The Chinese government said Meng had broken no U.S. or Canadian laws and demanded Canada "immediately correct the mistake" and release her.

Huawei said it had little information about the charges and was "not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng".

The broad market decline came as the arrest of a senior Chinese technology executive overshadowed some positive comments on trade from Beijing and threatened to worsen trade tensions between the USA and China.

Jia Wenshan, a professor at Chapman University in California, said the arrest "runs a huge risk of derailing the U.S".

Wanzhou Meng - also deputy chairwoman and the daughter of Huawei's founder - faces extradition to the US, said Ian McLeod, a Canada Justice Department spokesman. The ban was sought by Meng, who has a bail hearing Friday, he said.

In a statement issued exclusively to the News from Huawei's corporate head office, the company explained how Meng was "provisionally detained by the Canadian authorities on behalf of the United States of America, which seeks the extradition of..."

What could be behind it?

Patrick Cronin with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, agrees that Xi may use the Huawei episode to stall progress in trade talks.

A source familiar with Justice Department procedures said it is unlikely the US attorneys would have acted without consulting other agencies in pursuing the global arrest.

The probe of Huawei is similar to one that threatened the survival of China's ZTE Corp, which pleaded guilty in 2017 to violating US laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology to Iran. "It's a possibility. China's plays rough", Mulroney told The Associated Press.

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"Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the chief financial officer", he added.

"Huawei is considered the star of China's innovation-based technological development".

Huawei said Ms Meng, the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, was detained while transferring between flights.

In its statement on Wednesday, Huawei said the company complies with all laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, including applicable export control, sanction laws and regulations of the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. He said arresting her without that violated her human rights.

'China has already made solemn representations to the United States and Canada, demanding they immediately correct their wrong behavior and restore Ms Meng Wanzhou's freedom'. Huawei is one of the world's largest makers of handsets and telecommunications network equipment.

The US sees Huawei and smaller Chinese tech suppliers as possible fronts for spying and as commercial competitors.

Also in August, Australia banned the use of Huawei's equipment for new faster 5G, or fifth-generation, wireless networks in the country and New Zealand last week did the same, citing national security concerns.

The US has brought a number of legal cases against Chinese technology firms, with accusations such as cyber-security theft and violations of Iran sanctions.

In her early years at Huawei, she dealt mostly with administrative matters such as taking phone calls, typing, and producing product catalogues, as one of three secretaries in the company.

In exchange, ZTE agreed to pay a hefty $1 billion fine and put an additional $400 million in escrow in case of future violations.

The US has also restricted US firms from selling parts to Chinese chipmaker Fujian Jinhua.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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