HSBC tries to convince Beijing it’s not to blame for Huawei CFO arrest

A Huawei Technologies Co. logo sits on display as customers browse inside a Media Markt electronic goods store, operated by Ceconomy AG, in Berlin, Germany. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

HSBC Holdings Plc has started a lobbying drive to convince the Chinese government that it’s not responsible for the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, the FT said, citing several people briefed on the discussions.

The bank is trying to distance itself from the diplomatic row over the Chinese telecom equipment maker, as it has stepped up engagement with Chinese officials after the arrest of Meng in December, the FT reported. Meng is under house arrest in Vancouver after being detained on a U.S. request.

HSBC has provided information that helped U.S. prosecutors build the case against Meng and Huawei in a move that has angered executives at the telecom company, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

John Flint, HSBC’s chief executive, and other senior executives have told Chinese officials that it had little choice but to co-operate with the investigation after the U.S. Department of Justice requested information, the FT reported.