China and HK shares slump, tech leads losses after Huawei CFO arrest

US prosecutors were investigating whether Huawei violated US sanctions on Iran

On the Huawei drama, Canadian authorities had said they had arrested the firm's CFO in Vancouver.

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

"The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim", the embassy said in a statement.

Huawei released a statement as well, saying it had "been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing", reported Al Jazeera. -China conflict much worse. The nations are engaged in a trade war that has seen both impose duties of billions of dollars on one another's goods.

"China should be fully prepared for an escalation in the #tradewar with the USA, as the United States will not ease its stance on China, and the recent arrest of the senior executive of #Huawei is a vivid example", the tweet, which had opposing fists with Chinese and U.S. flags superimposed upon them, said.

"If a couple of Canadian nationals are arrested somewhere as a bargaining chip, it may not be surprising", he said.

'As there is a publication ban in effect, we can not provide any further detail at this time.

Huawei said in a statement that Meng was arrested while changing planes in Canada and that she faced unspecified charges from the Eastern District of NY.

What could be behind it?

The arrest is related to violations of U.S. sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said, though officials have so far stayed mum on her allegations.

In 2012, the House of Representatives released a report warning Huawei poses a national security threat to the US, and American companies and its government should avoid doing business with the company. "It's a possibility. China's plays rough", Mulroney told The Associated Press.

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Meng, who was taken into custody on December 1, is the chief financial officer of Chinese electronics and telecommunications multinational Huawei.

How have China and Huawei responded?

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

Eric Harwit, an Asian studies professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who has written extensively on Chinese telecoms, said the arrest was not just about sanctions violations but the bigger picture of the USA worrying about Chinese hi-tech firms becoming rivals to American companies in the future.

The Chinese consulate in Vancouver has been providing her assistance, he added, declining further comment.

"Without any solid evidence, the Canadian and USA governments trampled on worldwide law by basically "kidnapping" Chinese citizen Meng", an official with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a Global Times op-ed.

In targeting Huawei, the U.S.is threatening one of the companies at the heart of Xi's long-term campaign to wrest the lead in future technologies and wean China off a reliance on foreign technology.

Over the summer, Australia also barred Huawei from providing 5G technology for wireless networks in the country over espionage fears.

BT said Huawei's equipment had not been used in the core of its fixed-line network, and it was removing it from the core of the mobile networks it acquired when it bought operator EE. Since then, Huawei is facing operational difficulties in the United States and some other countries like Australia, New Zealand, etc.

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. In a report released by the U.S. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in 2012, Huawei and ZTE Corp. were tagged as potential threats to U.S. security interests.

Huawei is not the first Chinese telecoms equipment firm to face the ire of United States authorities.

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