Cisco’s china-travel alert shows tech’s Huawei alarm

NEW YORK • The arrest of a high-profile Chinese executive has amped up jitters among US technology companies already fretting that a trade war between the two countries could hurt business.

After Huawei Technologies Co Ltd CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada at the behest of the US, there are signs that US companies are starting to reconsider sending executives to China for fear of retaliation.

Unconfirmed social media reports said that Cisco Systems Inc is restricting non-essential travel by US-based employees into China. The San Jose, California-based maker of computer networking gear told Bloomberg that “an email was sent in error to some employees regarding travel to China and does not reflect Cisco policy. We have not implemented restrictions on travel and normal business travel to China continues.”

Meanwhile, officials from major US companies at a meeting in Singapore last Thursday voiced concerns about retaliation against American firms and their executives, Reuters reported, citing people with knowledge of the meeting. Several attendees said their companies are considering restricting travel to China and looking to move meetings outside the country, Reuters reported.

The US technology industry is being roiled by the escalating trade war between the world’s two biggest economies and the prospect of crippling tariffs on American products made in China and exported globally. — Bloomberg