Huawei Technologies Co.'s chief financial officer was arrested in Canada over potential violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran, provoking outrage from China and complicating thorny trade negotiations just as they enter a critical juncture.
Wanzhou Meng - also deputy chairwoman and the daughter of Huawei's founder - faces extradition to the U.S., said Ian McLeod, a Canada Justice Department spokesman. She was arrested Dec. 1 after the U.S. Department of Justice in April opened an investigation into whether the telecommunications giant sold gear to Iran despite sanctions on exports to the region.
News of Meng's arrest provoked an immediate protest from the Chinese embassy in Canada, demanding the U.S. and its neighbor "rectify wrongdoings" and free Meng. Her arrest is likely to heighten tensions between Washington and Beijing days after the world's two largest economies agreed on a truce in their growing trade conflict. Meng's father Ren Zhengfei, a former army engineer who was named China's top entrepreneur of the past 40 years, has won acclaim at home for turning an electronics reseller into the world's second-largest smartphone maker and a major producer of networking gear.