HSBC has launched a lobbying effort to convince the Chinese government that it is not responsible for the arrest of Huawei's finance director, as the bank tries to distance itself from the diplomatic row over China's top telecoms equipment maker.

The UK-listed bank stepped up engagement with Chinese officials after the arrest in December of Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive who is also the daughter of the company's founder, according to several people briefed on the discussions.

Ms Meng is out on bail in Canada, where her lawyers are trying to stop her extradition to the US to face charges

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