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Huawei's Meng Wanzhou appears in Vancouver court for bail review as Canada receives US extradition request

Canada said on Tuesday that it has received a formal request from the United States to extradite Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies.

On Monday, US law enforcement officials announced 23 criminal charges against Huawei and Meng " including money laundering, fraud, conspiracy and intellectual property theft " and made the extradition request.

Watch: US charges Huawei with conspiracy and other crimes

Meng made a brief appearance before the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver for a bail hearing on Tuesday. The judge, William Ehrcke, who granted her bail request last month, pushed back her next court appearance by one month, until March 6. He also approved Meng's request for a change in who is financially responsible for her bail.

The Canadian Department of Justice has until March 1 to decide on the US extradition request.

The developments occurred just as China and the US are set to begin a new round of trade negotiations on Wednesday in Washington. While the US has repeatedly said that the Huawei case and trade talks are separate issues, the moves complicate the already tense battles Washington and Beijing have engaged in for months.

#Meng walks into court #huawei

" Briar Stewart (@briarstewart) January 29, 2019

Meng, 46, a daughter of Huawei's founder, was detained on December 1 at Washington's request on suspicion of violating US sanctions against Iran. She is free on US$7.5 million bail in Vancouver pending extradition proceedings.

Both sides have characterised this month's lower-level talks as "good". But early on Tuesday, Beijing denounced the Huawei indictments as politically motivated.

Two sets of indictments were unsealed on Monday. A federal grand jury in Brooklyn, New York, charged Huawei and Meng with money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. Huawei was also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A separate indictment from Washington state accuses Huawei, its US affiliate Skycom and Meng of stealing trade secrets from the telecommunications company T-Mobile. The charges stemmed from a civil lawsuit filed by T-Mobile USA in 2014 over a robot nicknamed Tappy that was used in testing smartphones.

Huawei charges are US attempt to smear Chinese firms, Beijing says

In 2017, jurors in Seattle found Huawei liable for misappropriating robotic technology " including that of Tappy, which simulates how human fingers tap on phones " and awarded T-Mobile US$4.8 million in damages.

Additional reporting by Wendy Wu and Reuters

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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