(Bloomberg) -- A Chinese court started initial hearings in a Tesla Inc. lawsuit against a protester who climbed on a Model 3 car at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show and shouted that a brake failure had almost killed her family. 

The incident fueled online criticism of Tesla in China, the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market and home to one of the company’s main production bases. Tesla denied the claim and filed a case against the protester, Zhang Yazhou, seeking 5 million yuan ($700,000) in damages.

The Qingpu District Court in Shanghai said on its WeChat account that hearings opened Tuesday. Zhang filed a counterclaim, the Shanghai Securities News reported, without providing any more details. This stage usually involves the exchange of evidence and other case materials, it said. 

Read More: Tesla Is Crushing Critics in China by Hitting Them With Lawsuits

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk made a quick trip to China last week, arriving in Beijing on his private jet and also traveling to Shanghai, meeting government officials and executives. He visited the company’s Shanghai plant, which accounted for more than half of Tesla’s global production last year.

Tesla shipped 77,695 EVs in China in May, according to preliminary data from the country’s Passenger Car Association, up 2.4% from the previous month. 

--With assistance from Chunying Zhang.

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