Huawei is key to China's ambitions to become a global tech leader. It sells more smartphones than Apple (APPL) and is the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker. Meng is the daughter of the company's founder, Ren Zhengfei.
Beijing is unlikely to let the arrest of a senior executive from an elite family go unanswered, experts say, and companies should prepare for possible blowback. "There will be retaliation. Guaranteed," said Edo Naito, a Tokyo-based business lawyer and former executive for multinational companies including General Electric (GE). Naito has been doing business with China since the 1980s.