It's particularly worth noting that Meng was arrested on the same day that U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a significant bilateral meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
USA stock futures and Asian shares tumbled as news of the arrest heightened the sense a major collision was brewing between the world's two largest economic powers, not just over tariffs but also over technological hegemony. China, which has spent the week thus far making conciliatory gestures to the U.S.in an attempt to bring the trade war to an end, is furious and is demanding Meng's release.
The commerce ministry said separately it will "immediately implement" measures reached under the trade truce, which includes agricultural products, energy and autos, and was "confident" a deal could be reached in the coming 90 days.
The executive, who is also the daughter of the Chinese electronics and telecommunications multinational's founder Ren Zhengfei, was detained by Canadian authorities in Vancouver, British Columbia, on December 1.
He predicted a crisis in relations between the three countries if she was extradited and said any talk of a free trade agreement between Canada and China would be over.
Houlden said he thinks the U.S.is more likely to be a target.
Donald Trump last month reinstated all the United States sanctions on Iran that had been removed under a 2015 nuclear deal.
The U.S. almost put another large Chinese firm, ZTE, out of business earlier this year when it banned the company from using U.S. technology. Under Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, Washington has pressured European countries and other allies to limit use of its technology. The 46-year-old was arrested by Canadian authorities in Vancouver on Saturday.
Beijing has called on both Ottawa and Washington to immediately clarify the reasons for detaining Meng as well as her immediate release.
USA national security adviser John Bolton told US media that he knew of the pending arrest in advance.
The tensions between the United States and Huawei started a few months ago due to allegations of spying by the Chinese government using Huawei's equipment. Markets are already incredibly nervous over slowing economic growth thanks to the inverted United States yield curve.
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Stephanie Carvin, a former Canadian security analyst who teaches at Carleton University, said on Twitter: "In light of the #Huawei arrest, a reminder that China takes innocent Canadians hostage on a whim for its own purposes".
The timing is awkward following the announcement of a US-Chinese ceasefire in a tariff war over Beijing's technology policy. But ZTE (ZTCOF), a Chinese tech firm that was temporarily crippled by a U.S. export ban earlier this year, slumped almost 9%.
"The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng (Wanzhou)", it said.
Without providing any further detail, Bolton said that Huawei is a company that U.S. officials have been concerned about for a number of reasons.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his Government had no involvement in the arrest of Meng Wanzhou and he had not spoken to global counterparts about the case.
Why is Huawei a concern to the West?
Both Huawei and ZTE have not only been barred from use by US government agencies and contractors; they have also been mostly locked out of the American market. "When China's got some tough political problem going, often it ends up arresting someone, some foreigner, some Chinese with another passport, and kind of holding them hostage".
And almost a year ago, AT&T pulled out of a deal to sell Huawei smartphones. The company was banned in August from working on Australia's high-speed 5G network.
Earlier this year, the United States said ZTE made false statements about disciplining some executives responsible for the violations and banned US firms from selling parts and software to the company. They urged him to keep Huawei off Canada's next-generation network.
Meng led the founding of five Huawei shared service centres around the world, her company bio says.
"She's the daughter of the chairman so she would be like Ivanka Trump".
"The detainment of Huawei's CFO doesn't improve or worsen in any sense the security posture of Huawei with regards to Canada", Parsons said. Her stature in Chinese culture has been compared to American tech giants such as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. Beijing must develop innovative technologies to keep its economy growing as its labor force ages and it confronts a huge stockpile of debt.
Jiang speculated that the investigation might involve Meng's previous role in broadening the company's global reach.