The arrest of a top executive comes as the Chinese telecoms firm faces tough times in the west
Markets can be erratic beasts, as indicative of collective neuroses as collective wisdom. But it is not surprising that they reacted to Wednesday’s thunderbolt. Much remains unclear about Canada’s arrest of a powerful executive from Chinese telecoms behemoth Huawei at the request of the US. Whatever precisely happened, and however this plays out, it is a dramatic course of action against a company at the heart of Chinese technology ambitions – and the pushback against them. It comes in the midst of a trade war with the US and broader security fears about Chinese firms.
Huawei is the world’s largest telecoms equipment provider, and its second largest mobile phone manufacturer: it is a pillar of the Chinese economy. Its founder Ren Zhengfei is a former military officer; the arrested executive, Meng Wanzhou, is his daughter.