Huawei CFO is arrested in Canada over Iran links

Huawei CFO is arrested in Canada over Iran links

The daughter of Huawei's founder, a top executive at the Chinese technology giant, was arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United States, roiling global stock markets as it threatened to inflame Sino-U.S. trade tensions afresh.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson has demanded the US and Canada justify the arrest, and referred to Wanzhou's detention as a human rights violation, a charge often leveled at Beijing.

Thus far, China has demanded that Canada and the USA drop the case and release Meng immediately, accusing the North American nations of harming her human rights.

Meng was arrested in the western city of Vancouver on December 1, Canada's ministry of justice said in a statement on Wednesday, prompting China's embassy to say it had "seriously harmed the human rights of the victim". Meng has a bail hearing set for Friday, according to Canada's Globe and Mail.

Her arrest, revealed late on Wednesday by Canadian authorities, is related to US sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said.

Sources told Reuters in April that United States authorities have been probing Huawei, one of the world's largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping US-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws.

Ms Meng's detention also raised concerns about potential retaliation from Beijing in Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to distance himself from the arrest.

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Security concerns recently led BT to bar Huawei equipment from the heart of the 5G network it is rolling out in the UK.

The company's yearly financial report says the earnings come in equal part from business inside and outside the country. "Huawei has direct ties to the Chinese government and Communist Party, has long posed a serious risk to USA national security". He said targeting Huawei, one of the most successful Chinese companies, "will trigger anti-US sentiment in China".

"Forget the trade war, it is now all-out economic war with China apparently", Chris Rupkey, chief market economist at MUFG, wrote in a note. The company has been accused of using its devices to pass on information to the Chinese government, prompting the US Department of Defense to ban their sale on military bases.

Connor Campbell, an analysts at Spreadex, wrote: "The Huawei arrest appears to be the straw that broke the camel's back".

She is facing extradition to the United States on USA suspicions that Huawei violated sanctions against Iran by providing that country with telecommunications equipment.

Senator Ben Sasse earlier linked Meng's arrest to U.S. sanctions on Iran, which Trump is trying to squeeze economically after withdrawing from a denuclearization deal. And earlier this year, the heads of six major US intelligence agencies (including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA) warned citizens not to use their products and services.

Shanghai's market slid about 1.7%, while USA stock futures were pointing down more than 1%.

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"Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and European Union", it added. The White House said on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump did not know about the extradition request before his dinner with Chinese President Xi Jingping in Argentina at the recent G20 summit.

Despite that, her arrest is unlikely to derail trade talks, said Willy Lam, a politics specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Despite Meng's arrest the same day that deal was announced, Beijing officials were standing by the agreement on Thursday. -Chinese cease-fire in a tariff war over Beijing's technology policy.

CNN, quoting an unnamed official, said that the United States saw the arrest as providing leverage in trade talks.

Huawei's biggest Chinese rival, ZTE Corp., was almost driven out of business this year when Washington barred it from buying US technology over exports to North Korea and Iran. Huawei is not listed but China's second-largest telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp sank 9 per cent in Hong Kong while most of the nearby national bourses lost at least 2 per cent.

"We had this very ugly new turn and just the degree to which the market has reacted just suggests to me that they are vulnerable right now", said Saxo Bank's head of FX strategy John Hardy.

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