The chief financial officer of China's global telecommunications giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United States, officials said Friday, triggering a strong protest by Beijing, which called for her immediate release.
"Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the chief financial officer of a giant Chinese telecom company for breaking us sanctions against Iran", he said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
In a statement, Huawei said Meng was changing flights in Canada when she was detained "on behalf of the United States of America" to face "unspecified charges" in NY. At this time, the department spokesperson can't share more details because Meng requested a publication ban. Huawei says the US requested Meng's arrest and it is unaware of any wrongdoing. It appears that the arrest is likely in connection to an ongoing USA investigation into Huawei allegedly violating global sanctions against Iran and North Korea.
Though most Chinese people use their fathers' surnames, Ms Meng adopted her mother's family name.
It says she was arrested when she was transferring flights in Canada.
The U.S. has been investigating the alleged shipment of U.S. -made products to Iran in violation of U.S. laws since 2016. It receives preferential treatment and is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government while purchasing technology from US companies like Qualcomm.
The United States government is set to indict a top executive from Huawei, the Chinese smartphone maker, in a move that could increase tensions between the two countries.
The shock arrest of Meng Wanzhou, who is also Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer, is riling authorities in Beijing and raises fresh doubts over a 90-day truce on trade struck between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on the day she was detained.
Suspicions over Huawei's links to the Chinese government have made the company a target for suspicion and the U.S. has led the charge to ban its products and services. "We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens".
Add it up and this is a major escalation in whatever is going on with the China and US.
Markets had initially brightened after USA and Chinese leaders agreed a temporary trade truce at a meeting on Saturday.
In June, Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper reported that USA lawmakers warned the Canadian government that Huawei posed a major cybersecurity risk.
"Washington is attempting to damage Huawei's worldwide reputation and taking aim at the tech giant's global market in the name of law", the editorial stated. Huawei, which sells smartphones, has always been identified by the U.S.as a threat to national security.
The Chinese government has demanded that Meng be released. Huawei has denied the links.