Huawei chairman steps into CFO role after Canada arrest sparked global sell-off

Michael Searles
CFO Meng Wanzhou will appear in a Vancouver court on Friday and faces extradition to United States (Source: Getty)

Chinese tech company Huawei has appointed its chairman as acting chief financial officer following the arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada.

Liang Hua will take on the additional responsibilities of CFO after a turbulent day for the company saw its share price fall by 4.46 per cent.

The news rocked markets, triggering a sell-off in Asia, Europe and the US as investors feared an escalation of tensions between the US and China.

Wanzhou, 46, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfe, was detained on Saturday at the request of US officials and now faces extradition to the US.

Although the charges are currently unknown, it is reportedly regarding an alleged violation of US sanctions against Iran as well as claims of cyber espionage.

Canadian authorities announced they had made the arrest late on Wednesday evening and Wanzhou is now set to appear in a Vancouver court today for a bail hearing.

The arrest threatens to reignite the trade war between China and the US just days after President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping reached a truce at the G20 summit in Argentina

Huawei did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Following the arrest the company said that it "has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng".

The company, which is the biggest telecoms provider in the world, has also this week given in to demands from UK security officials to address serious risks regarding its upgrade to fifth-generation technologies, which could be susceptible to cyber espionage, according to the Financial Times.

It comes after the US government increased pressure on Western allies to snub Huawei when upgrading services for security reasons.