China demands Canada release Huawei executive arrested in Vancouver

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EMBATTLED CHINESE tech giant Huawei has received another blow, after its Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada.

Wanzhou Meng, Huawei's global chief financial officer and a deputy chair of Huawei's board of director, is also the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, Huawei's founder. In April, China appealed to Washington to avoid damaging business confidence following the Wall Street Journal report that U.S. authorities were investigating whether Huawei violated sanctions on Iran amid spiraling technology tensions.

Huawei, which sells telecommunications and computer electronics equipment, is the world's second largest maker of smartphones, behind South Korean giant Samsung.

China is demanding that Canada release a Huawei Technologies executive arrested for possible extradition to the United States.

"Having swung between optimism and skepticism about a US-China trade war truce through February, and we note Chinese diplomats making positive noise overnight ('friendly and candid atmosphere' between Xi and Trump), traders are understandably cautious", Mike van Dulken, senior markets analyst at Accendo Markets wrote on Thursday morning. Shares in several of its suppliers, including Largan Precision and MediaTek, fell.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said US and Canadian business executives could face reprisals in China.

The US Justice Department on Wednesday declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred questions to the country's justice department.

Huawei Technologies Ltd., the biggest global supplier of network gear used by phone and Internet companies, has previously been the target of USA security concerns.

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A user of China's Twitter-like Weibo platform said Chinese should boycott products made by USA tech giant Apple Inc and instead buy Huawei products to show support for one of China's national champions.

Chinese business executive Meng Wanzhou was detained by Canadian authorities and faces extradition to the United States in a move that Beijing slammed as violating her "human rights". The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou.

The dispute over Meng's arrest comes just days after the US and China agreed to a temporary truce on their escalating trade conflict.

In a statement, Huawei said it had complied with "all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and European Union". The U.S. government has largely banned the use of Huawei equipment by its agencies, and intelligence officials have warned that Beijing may have the ability to tap into the firm's equipment to spy on users. Personnel on U.S. military bases are banned from buying equipment manufactured by the Chinese tech firms.

Huawei is not the first Chinese telecoms equipment firm to face the ire of U.S. authorities.

It also coincides with moves to restrict the use of Huawei technology in Western countries. ZTE, China's second-largest telecoms equipment maker, agreed to pay $1.4 billion in total fines to the United States after Washington slapped a ban in April on purchases of essential American components for seven years to punish the company for Iran sanctions violations. "Imagine what the political response would be in the U.S".

The New York Times meanwhile said that the company had been subpoenaed by the Commerce and Treasury Departments over alleged violations of Iran and North Korea sanctions. "I refuse to talk to Canadian media", he said. Still, the company's phone business is successful. He said targeting Huawei, one of its most successful companies, "will trigger anti-US sentiment".

Other firms weighing down the index were Antofagasta and Prudential, with falls of 6.4 per cent, Just Eat, which fell by six per cent, and Wood Group, which sank by 5.8 per cent. -China relations, it was not clear if the timing was coincidental.

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