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In February, Wei Xuegang, who is an assistant to Huajian Group’s president, said the firm had stopped production of Ivanka Trump-branded shoes.
On Wednesday, Wei told NBC News on Wednesday the company “doesn’t know about the situation” regarding the activists, adding: “We haven’t heard of this labor organization.”
Hua and Li Zhao had been warned by authorities weeks ago that they were suspected of having broken the law, and were barred from crossing the border into Hong Kong in April and May, Li Qiang said.
Deng Guilian, who is Hua’s wife, told NBC News that she hadn’t heard from the father of two since Sunday.
She said a police officer informed her that the 36-year-old Hua had been arrested for “illegal surveillance.”
Deng added: “My husband does nothing to harm the society and even benefits the workers. Why was he arrested?”
Ivanka Trump’s lifestyle brand imports most of its merchandise from China, trade data show. She and her father both have extensive trademark portfolios in China, though neither has managed to build up a large retail or real estate presence here.
The sister of Jared Kushner, a Trump adviser and husband of Ivanka,
traveled to China this past month to court investment from Chinese families for a real estate project in New Jersey.
NBC News’ Eric Baculinao and Dawn Lui contributed to this story from Beijing.