Chinese embassy in Ottawa demands release of Huawei exec arrested in Vancouver

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Similar allegations of breaching USA export restrictions led to rival Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE Corp being hit with a devastating ban and heavy fines this year.

CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada in an extradition deal with the United States on suspicion of breaching U.S. sanctions on Iran as well as cyber espionage.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 400 points Thursday morning, or 1.5 percent, extending the week's losses after a Chinese telecom executive was arrested in Canada on behalf of the US, stoking growing fears about trade tensions with China.

In a statement on Wednesday, Canada's justice ministry said Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1.

US stock markets plunged again Thursday after a Chinese technology executive was arrested in Canada, escalating U.S.

The Globe and Mail reported earlier Wednesday that she was arrested on suspicion of violating US trade sanctions on Iran.

"The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng". In October, the USA said Belgium extradited a Chinese intelligence official accused of stealing trade secrets from US companies - an unprecedented development.

A Huawei spokesperson said Meng faces unspecified charges in the Eastern District of NY.

As well as the CFO, she is deputy chairwoman of Huawei and a daughter of the company's founder.

Canada on Saturday arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's global chief financial officer, in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the USA on suspicion she violated US sanctions against Iran, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Wednesday.

But if China's wrath over the Huawei arrest "continues to ferment, it will ruin the progress the two countries have made", said Chen Qi, a resident scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.

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

Huawei says the US requested Meng's arrest and it is unaware of any wrongdoing.

Huawei said it complies with all laws and rules where it operates, including export controls and sanctions of the United Nations, the USA and European Union. Combine Apple, Cisco, and Booz Allen, and then imagine this company working very closely with the US government, and you get a better sense of the significance of the company to China.

A Wall Street Journal report last month said the USA government was trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in allied countries to avoid equipment from Huawei. "The detention without giving any reason violates a person's human rights", said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson. "We struggle to see how a comprehensive agreement can emerge in the next 3 months and instead expect trade tensions to resurface in earnest early next year".

U.S. President Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods in response to complaints that Beijing improperly pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

"The United States is stepping up containment of China in all respects", said Zhu Feng, an worldwide relations expert at Nanjing University. The Pentagon has alleged the Chinese government could use the phones to spy.

China's embassy in Canada protested at the arrest and demanded her release.

What are the Iran sanctions?

Huawei is now China's biggest private company, with a payroll of 180,000, and the world's second-largest maker of smartphones.

United States stocks tumbled in early trading on Thursday following a sell-off in overseas markets.

New Zealand turned down Huawei equipment from being used in its rollout of 5G network over national security concerns, after Australia imposed a similar ban on both Huawei and fellow communications firm ZTE.

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

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