China has advised officials from state-run enterprises to refrain from traveling to the U.S. and its allies following the arrest of Huawei top executive in Canada on behalf of the American government, deepening the rift between the two countries.
The State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, a government group that oversees state-owned companies – told some use a secure company-issued laptop when traveling abroad or avoid business trips to Western countries altogether, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the request.
In addition to the U.S., the warning covered four other countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The request also instructed employees to allow the companies to validate which records they should carry during the trip and store them on a secure USB flash drive, according to the outlet.
The travel rules come amid the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, who was detained by Canadian authorities last month at the request of the U.S. government. She was granted bail but remains in Vancouver under 24-hour surveillance. The U.S. must submit an extradition hearing by the end of January.
The U.S. has accused the Chinese tech giant of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. Meng and Huawei denied the accusations.
On Tuesday the government took a swipe at Canada, telling reporters, according to Bloomberg, that “It is Canada, not China, that is arbitrarily detaining foreign citizens under the guise of the law” and assured that “as long as foreigners including Canadians abide by the law, their freedom and safety is guaranteed.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.