Huawei CFO arrested in Canada for violating Iran sanctions

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In the latest development that is sure to upset the newly-formed trade truce between the USA and China, a senior Huawei exec has been arrested in Canada and now faces extradition to the US.

The British bank HSBC is cooperating with USA authorities in its investigation, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

"The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng (Wanzhou)", it said. It surpassed Apple in smartphone sales in the second quarter of this year, leaving it behind only market leader Samsung.

The company had been investigated by USA intelligence, who deemed it a national security threat.

Other nations are increasingly being forced to choose between Chinese and U.S. suppliers for next-generation " 5G" wireless technology.

But suspicions persist. Concern now centres on the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, where Huawei is at the cutting edge.

Ms. Meng was arrested at an airport, but Reuters has not confirmed if Canada arrested her pursuant to a red notice.

The arrest could drive a wedge between China and the United States just days after President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping held a meeting in Argentina where they agreed to steps to resolve a trade war.

What do we know about the arrest?

Huawei has repeatedly denied this.

Earlier this year, the United States banned American firms from selling parts and software to ZTE, which then paid US$1 billion this summer as part of a deal to get the ban lifted. -Chinese cease-fire in a trade war that has its roots in Beijing's technology policy.

Meng is a prominent member of Chinese society as deputy chairman of the board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

In addition to Trump's tariffs, the administration is tightening regulations on high-tech exports to China.

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"There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party - and Huawei, which China's government and military tout as a 'national champion, ' is no exception", he said "It has been clear for some time that Huawei, like ZTE, poses a threat to our national security".

The Wall Street Journal reported in April that US Department of Justice had opened an investigation into suspected violations of Iran sanctions by Huawei.

The ban almost destroyed the Chinese tech company, forcing it to cease major operations in May.

More than £56billion has been wiped off the value of Britain's biggest listed companies as United Kingdom stock markets suffered their worst day of trading since the Brexit vote. "And they took this decision without any political involvement or interference".

Bolton told NPR that Huawei has represented "enormous concerns for years" for the USA over the theft of American intellectual property and forced technology transfers, two notable issues the administration is seeking to resolve as part of the trade negotiations.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, who sat at the table with Mr Trump and Mr Xi, knew in advance of the USA request that Canadian authorities arrest Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, he told National Public Radio on Thursday (Dec 6).

The arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer in Vancouver could severely complicate Canada's relationship with China, according to a former ambassador. "We certainly don't inform the president on every one of them", he said of the arrest.

Michael Antonelli, a trader at Wisconsin-based investment bank RW Baird, said: 'Everything feels out of control right now'.

He foresees a crisis in relations between the three countries if she is extradited and said any talk of free trade agreement between Canada and China would be over. "We're not going to deal that away in 90 days". Her stature in Chinese culture has been compared to American tech giants such as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. Beijing must develop innovative technologies to keep its economy growing as its labour force ages and it confronts a huge stockpile of debt.

Nonetheless, Canada could face political or economic retaliation.

"When that [news] turned up on my phone this morning, I was just breathless, actually - taken aback", McGregor says.