Huawei CFO arrested in Canada on suspicion of violating US sanctions

Meng Wanzhou faces extradition to the US as Asian shares plummet amid fears of worsening relations between Washington and Beijing

Canada has arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the US in a move likely to exacerbate tensions between the US and China.

Meng Wanzhou, one of the vice-chairs on the Chinese technology company’s board and the daughter of the company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on 1 December and a court hearing has been set for Friday, according to Canada’s department of justice. The arrest is reportedly related to violations of US sanctions.

In a statement, the department confirmed Meng had been arrested and was facing extradition. “As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time. The ban was sought by Ms Meng,” it said.

US stock futures and Asian shares tumbled after Meng’s arrest. The news came as Washington and Beijing begin three months of negotiations aimed at de-escalating their bruising trade war, which is adding to global investors’ worries over rising US interest rates and other risks to global economic growth.

The S&P500 e-mini futures fell almost 2% and were last were down 1.2%. Shares in Tokyo were off 2.5% in afternoon trade while Hong Kong was down 2.6% and Seoul declined 1.3%. Stocks in Shanghai were down 1.3% and in Sydney the benchmark ASX200 was off 0.6%.

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