The U.S. government has largely banned the use of Huawei equipment by its agencies, and intelligence officials have warned that Beijing may have the ability to tap into the firm's equipment to spy on users.
Meng faces extradition to the USA, where investigators are probing Huawei's alleged non-compliance with sanctions on Iran.
A Chinese government statement said Meng broke no US or Canadian laws and demanded Canada "immediately correct the mistake" and release her. "The Chinese government should seriously mull over the US tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China's high-tech enterprises".
As well as the CFO, she is deputy chairwoman of Huawei and a daughter of the company's founder.
Canadian authorities have arrested China-based Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer for possible violations of USA trade sanctions related to sales of HP equipment to Iran a decade ago.
Huawei, which generated $93 billion in revenue a year ago, confirmed the arrest in a statement.
Canadian authorities said Wednesday that they have arrested Meng for possible extradition to the United States. Later, the foreign ministry said it was still waiting for details on why she was arrested, and said trade talks should continue.
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Outside of the arrest itself, very little information about the case is being released at this time, in large part because a publication ban that was requested by Meng.
"Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and European Union", the company said in a statement.
United Kingdom shares plunged on Thursday and recorded losses not seen since the aftermath of the Brexit vote as a sell-off swept global markets following the arrest of a top Huawei executive that renewed worries about U.S.
The probe of Huawei is similar to one that threatened the survival of China's ZTE Corp, which pleaded guilty in 2017 to violating U.S. laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology to Iran. But ZTE (ZTCOF), a Chinese tech firm that was temporarily crippled by a U.S. export ban earlier this year, slumped almost 9%.
"It comes just days after the American and Chinese presidents agreed to a cease-fire in a tariff battle", "It is the latest in a series of corporate and official clashes over technology policy". BT, Britain's largest mobile provider, said this week it was removing the equipment of Huawei from its 4G cellular network. But the company is likely feeling pressure as other governments heed US calls to limit Huawei's access to their telecoms networks and strategically vital technologies.
"This headline is quite significant as the USA government is attempting to persuade allies to stop using Huawei equipment due to security fears, and this headline could weigh negatively on tech stocks", said Stephen Innes, head of trading at Oanda in Singapore.
Stocks of most major chip manufacturers fell after news of the arrest broke, with chipmaker stocks usually serving as a bellwether for investor confidence in U.S.
Best Buy, one of the largest electronics retailers in the US, also recently stopped selling Huawei products.
Faced with this explosive report, Huawei first denied the story, calling the report "unfounded". "The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim", reads a statement released by the embassy. Trump restored access after ZTE agreed to pay a $1 billion fine, replace its executive team and embed a US-chosen compliance team in the company. China has said it will continue to do business with Iran despite the possible threat of United States penalties.