China Demands Release of Huawei CFO A‌rre‌st‌e‌d in Canada

07 December, 2018, 08:13 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • The reason for Wanzhou Meng's arrest was not immediately clear.					WANG ZHAO  AFP  Getty Images

The news is likely to make American executives wary about visiting China in the near term, out of concern over retaliatory arrests, some experts said.

Now, there are fears of what China may do next.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer and deputy chair, was arrested in Vancouver on 1 December.

The Globe and Mail newspaper, citing law enforcement sources, said Meng Wanzhou is accused of trying to evade United States trade curbs on Iran.

Bradley Simon, a criminal defence lawyer and a former federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, N.Y., said a move against someone such as Ms. Meng probably involved "extra scrutiny up the chain of command" at the Justice Department.

Details of the arrest have not been released but the U.S. has been investigating Huawei over possible violation of sanctions against Iran.

The Dow Jones fell more than 700 points on Thursday, as news broke of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou's arrest and planned extradition to the US.

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.

However, according to analysts, this arrest will offset any optimism after the G20.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Thursday called Meng's arrest a violation of human rights and demanded the "immediate release" of the 46-year-old executive, who also goes by the name Sabrina.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said Meng broke no US or Canadian laws and demanded Canada "immediately correct the mistake" and release her.

But Trudeau said Thursday he hasn't talked to any global counterparts about the affair, and he made clear he's staying out of it.

"I can assure everyone that we are a country of an independent judiciary and the appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case without any political involvement or interference", Trudeau said.

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Canada was bracing for a fallout in relations with China, which has been increasingly willing to punish countries it sees as countering its interests. Carvin speculated on Twitter that this could affect the sale of Canadian lobsters, among other things.

What has Canada said about the arrest?

The volatility put a spotlight on doubts about Trump's ability to deliver on his promises with China - and exposed a clash between his policy goals in China and his efforts to crack down on technology companies and other actors.

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. China has said it will continue to do business with Iran despite the possible threat of USA penalties.

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

Here are some key facts about the fast-growing telecoms equipment supplier.

Last month, New Zealand blocked a mobile phone company from using Huawei equipment, saying it posed a "significant network security risk".

The company is one of the largest telecommunications equipment and services providers in the world, recently passing Apple to become the second-biggest smartphone maker after Samsung.

It says it operates in more than 170 countries, has 180,000 employees and serves more than a third of the world's population.

Huawei's global chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. 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.

Likewise, Rod Hunter, an worldwide economic official in President George W. Bush's White House and a partner at law firm Baker McKenzie, said, "I'm skeptical that the Chinese are going to want to say 'uncle.' " USA and Chinese officials are "trying to tackle a problem that is going to take years, maybe a decade, to resolve".

Analysts have warned that the arrest of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou may have major repercussions for American tech companies and Washington's ongoing trade war with China, with some experts suggesting that China could retaliate by arresting USA citizens.

The ban almost destroyed the Chinese tech company, forcing it to cease major operations in May. But the company said in late 2011 that it was limiting its business activity and no longer seeking new customers there because of an "increasingly complex situation".

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