WASHINGTON — The first stage of an extradition hearing for a senior executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei has started in a Vancouver courtroom.
The case has infuriated Beijing and has caused a diplomatic uproar and complicated high-stakes trade talks between China and the United States. Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, in late 2018 at America's request.
Washington accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It says Meng committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company's business dealings in Iran.
Huawei is China's first global tech brand and a target of U.S. security concerns. Beijing views Meng's case as an attempt to contain China's rise.
As the Associated Press reports, Huawei said in a statement as the proceedings began, "we trust in Canada’s judicial system, which will prove Ms. Meng’s innocence.”
Huawei is the largest supplier of network equipment for internet companies and cellphone brands around the globe. Washington is trying to limit the use of its technology by raising alarm that countries could be opening themselves up to theft and surveillance the Associated Press points out.