Headline By Dan Bilefsky 200 Views

What You Need to Know About the Huawei Court Case in Canada


VANCOUVER, British Columbia — When the Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested by the Canadian authorities in the Vancouver airport while changing flights, she suddenly became one of the world’s most famous detainees.

Her December arrest — made at the United States’ request for her extradition on fraud charges — provoked a storm of recriminations from China, landed Ms. Meng in legal limbo, and put Canada in the middle of a fight between two world powers that are both rivals and trading partners.

Since then, relations between China and Canada have become increasingly strained, and China has arrested two Canadians, accusing them of espionage, and sentenced a third to death on a drug charge.

On Wednesday, the next chapter in Ms. Meng’s case opened with an extradition proceeding at the Supreme Court of British Columbia. A hearing was set for May 8 to discuss next steps in the case. Chief among them will be setting a date for an extradition hearing to decide whether she should be sent to face fraud charges in the United States.

Ms. Meng, dressed casually in a sweatshirt with a simple clip in her hair, appeared composed as she sat in the courtroom next to an interpreter. She joined the large group of journalists, supporters and curious members of the public assembled in the courtroom as they bowed to the judge as the proceeding began.

Highlighting what he called the extraordinary context of the case, Richard Peck, a member of Ms. Meng’s defense team, said there were concerns about its “political character,” alluding to comments by President Trump that he was willing to intercede in the proceedings.

As the case moves forward, here’s what you need to know.

Who is Meng Wanzhou?

A polished executive, Ms. Meng, 46, is the chief financial officer of the Chinese tech giant Huawei, and the eldest daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei.

Ms. Meng, who also uses the names Sabrina and Cathy, was born in the western city of Chengdu. A high school dropout, she went on to get a master’s degree, began at Huawei as a secretary and eventually rose to become a public face of the company.