China demands release of Huawei executive

David Becker  Getty Image The Huawei logo on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center in January 2018

David Becker Getty Image The Huawei logo on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center in January 2018

"China should be fully prepared for an escalation in the trade war with the US, as the USA will not ease its stance on China, and the recent arrest of the senior executive of Huawei is a vivid example", thundered the state-run Global Times in a tweet bearing an image of flag-emblazoned fists.

China's foreign ministry urged Canada and the U.S. to "clarify" the reason for Meng's detention.

Huawei is not listed, but China's second-largest telecom equipment maker, ZTE Corp, sank almost 6 percent in Hong Kong while most of the nearby national bourses lost at least 2 percent. Signals from the markets include the yield on three-year treasury bonds surpassing those on five-year bonds on Monday. It remains privately held and describes itself as employee-owned, though its ownership structure is unknown. It employs more than 180,000 people and previous year had revenue of about $93 billion.

How did the company become so successful? Huawei has said neither it nor Skycom ultimately provided the HP equipment.

Competitors branded Huawei a cut-rate vendor of copycat equipment, and companies including Cisco Systems and Motorola filed lawsuits over alleged trade secret theft.

Meng wanzhou
HuaweiHuawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou

But hours later, Huawei released a statement on its official Weibo account, not only confirming the arrest but revealing more information.

Huawei today continues to expand into new areas including chip development, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. President Trump has agreed to postpone planned tariff hikes on Chinese goods, while China has pledged to purchase a "very substantial" amount of American produce and curb the export of deadly opioid Fentanyl to the United States in exchange.

Meanwhile, news of the arrest has sparked fears on Wall Street that the trade war between the U.S. and China could escalate. No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the claims.

But suspicions persist. Concern now centres on the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, where Huawei is at the cutting edge. Huawei has also been taking heat in other markets.

US telecommunications firms fear that partnering with Huawei by allowing it to sell their smartphones would anger the federal government and jeopardize future contracts.

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Huawei is already under intense scrutiny from USA and other western governments about its ties to the Chinese government, driven by concerns it could be used by the state for spying.

Other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, have also followed the case.

The News understands that an arrest was made at or near Vancouver Airport on Saturday. China, which has spent the week thus far making conciliatory gestures to the an attempt to bring the trade war to an end, is furious and is demanding Meng's release.

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.

Wasn't another Chinese company also accused of Iran sanctions violations? Huawei's smaller rival ZTE Corp pleaded guilty past year to conspiring to evade embargoes by selling USA equipment to Iran.

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Graham went into explicit detail when confronted by reporters. "There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw ", Sen. If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes. "I'm neither excusing it, I'm making an observation".

The arrest will not help the 90-day tariff truce the nations agreed after President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met at the G20.

Are these issues related to the U.S. -China trade war? The sanctions investigations long preceded the trade war.

In April, the sources told Reuters the U.S. Justice Department probe was being handled by the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn.

What might happen to Huawei now? ZTE got off with paying a $US1 billion fine, changing its board and management and agreeing to let American regulators monitor its operations. If the case prompts major European countries in particular to turn against the firm, that would have a long-term impact on its growth and influence. China has said it will continue to do business with Iran despite the possible threat of USA penalties.

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