In the New Year's Day attack, according to authorities, someone poured a flammable liquid on the consulate's doors then ignited the liquid. Consulate officials have said the fire caused severe damage to the building's exterior.
FBI officials said the day after the fire that the case was not being investigated as an act of terrorism and appeared to be an isolated incident. They planned to release more information about the arrest at a news conference later Monday.
Chinese officials have called the incident a "despicable attack" and urged the U.S. government to solve the case "as soon as possible" and enhance protection for all Chinese diplomatic missions and staff in the country.
San Francisco police increased patrols around the consulate in the days after the attack.
The department similarly increased its presence around the consulate after an incendiary device was thrown at the building in 2008 leading up to the