The daughter of the founder of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United States.
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and deputy chair, was arrested in Vancouver on 1 December.
Details of the arrest have not been released but the US has been investigating Huawei over possible violation of sanctions against Iran.
China’s embassy in Canada protested at the arrest and demanded her release.
Huawei said it had little information about the charges and was “not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng”.
The arrest comes at a sensitive time for US-China relations. The nations are engaged in a trade war that has seen both impose duties of billions of dollars on one another’s goods.
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.
What has Canada said about the arrest?
Canada’s ministry of justice confirmed the date and place of Ms Meng’s arrest and added: “She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday.”
It said it could not say more as Ms Meng had sought a ban on the publication of details and this had been ordered by the courts.
A spokesman for the US justice department in the Eastern District of New York – which Huawei said had brought the charges – declined to comment.
What could be behind it?
US media have reported that Huawei is under investigation for potential violations of US sanctions against Iran.
One report in the New York Times said the US commerce and treasury departments had subpoenaed the firm over suspected violation of sanctions against both Iran and North Korea.
US lawmakers have repeatedly accused the company of being a threat to US national security, arguing that its technology could be used for spying by the Chinese government.
Reacting to the arrest, US Senator Ben Sasse told Associated Press that China was aggressively engaged in undermining US national security interests, often “using private sector entities”.
“Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the chief financial officer,” he added.