Asian markets tumble, China tech hit after Huawei arrest

Asian markets tumble, China tech hit after Huawei arrest

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated Beijing wanted the USA and Canada "to clarify the grounds for the detention, to release the detainee and earnestly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the person involved", Bloomberg reported.

Geng told reporters on Thursday that neither Canada or the USA had so far responded to China's concerns, reports the Associated Press. "The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim", reads a statement released by the embassy. He declined to give further details, given that Meng faces a bail hearing on Friday.

The Chinese Embassy in Canada condemned the detention of Ms Meng denying she had violated Chinese or U.S. laws.

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 arrest of Meng threatens to derail a fragile truce in a trade war between the USA and China.

News of the arrest came the same day Britain's BT Group BT.L said it was removing Huawei's equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the next network.

"This is really not good for the Chinese-Canadian Trade relationship", Sui Sui, a Canada-China trade expert and professor at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management, told Yahoo Finance Canada. Chinese technology has been a particular bugbear for the USA president, who has justified imposing tariffs on Chinese imports with allegations of intellectual property theft by Chinese companies.

Long viewed by U.S. intelligence agencies as a national security threat, Huawei is one of China's most prominent tech companies.

Saxo Bank's Hardy highlighted that the Australian dollar, which is highly sensitive to trade tensions due to huge Aussie metals sales to China, had failed to lift after some reassuring comments from Beijing on the trade discussions.

Some element of calm was restored in Asia on Wednesday after supportive comments from Beijing - its first reaction to hopes a new trade agreement between the USA and China could be reached within a 90-day deadline.

Wanzhou's arrest threatens the delicate 90-day truce in the U.S.

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Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is facing extradition charges to the United States over accusations that she violated Iran sanctions.

Meng's arrest and detention have only amplified the already-tense state of U.S.

"The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng", the company said.

A ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said China will promptly carry out their agreement and is confident they can reach a trade deal during the 90 days set by Trump to suspend U.S. tariff hikes. Trump and Xi have been battling over tariffs, something that has set the USA financial markets into a tailspin this week, causing the Dow to drop almost 800 points on Tuesday.

Huawei said it complies with all laws and rules where it operates, including export controls and sanctions of the United Nations, the USA and European Union.

Ren responded: "We must not bind ourselves up just because the attacking us. The potential slowdown in global growth is also something the markets are pricing in". They say Beijing is trying to press Canada where it might sense vulnerability - Ottawa's own strained relations with the Trump administration in Washington over tariffs and trade.

"This is what you call playing hard ball", said Michael Every, head of Asia financial markets research at Rabobank in Hong Kong.

Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Wilson Center, said the clash of priorities - squeezing Iran on one hand and reaching a trade agreement with China on the other - was likely accidental.

"Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the chief financial officer", he added.

United States media have reported that Huawei is under investigation for potential violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran. It surpassed Apple in smartphone sales in the second quarter of this year, leaving it behind only market leader Samsung.

Mulroney said Canada should be prepared for "sustained fury" from the Chinese and said it will be portrayed in China as Canada kowtowing to Trump.

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