March 27, 2019

Poland arrests Chinese Huawei employee, Polish national over spying allegations

11 January 2019, 04:58 | Devin Moran

'Chinese, Polish nationals' arrested in Poland for 'spying'

Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

The Chinese national is an employee of Huawei, Poland's public TV channel TVP said. Huawei is facing increased spying accusations from the U.S. and its allies.

Poland has arrested a Chinese employee of Huawei and a Polish cyber business specialist on allegations of spying, state news agency PAP said on Friday, deepening the controversy over Western criticism of the Chinese telecoms equipment maker.

"We must now verify the activities aimed against the country and this case is far from closed", Mr Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesman for Poland's secret services chief, told TVPInfo.

The Chinese government retaliated against the arrest by detaining Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, about a month ago, claiming he's a national security risk.

The Chinese man was identified as Weijing W. and reportedly worked as a director in Poland at Huawei.

Orange Polska said in a statement the security agency had on Tuesday gathered materials related to an employee, whom it did not identify.

Some European governments and telecom companies are following the US lead in questioning whether using Huawei for vital infrastructure for mobile networks could leave them exposed to snooping by the Chinese government. The homes of both men were also searched, according to TVP, the state broadcaster.

Wasik said that the Chinese suspect was a businessman working for a major electronics corporation and that the Pole was "known in circles associated with cyber-business affairs".

He worked at Orange, a company that worked with Huawei to roll out next-generation 5G mobile networks in Poland, the BBC reported.

In December, Canadian authorities arrested a top Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, at the behest of US authorities as part of an investigation into alleged violations of USA trade sanctions. If convicted, they face up to 10 years in jail, he said.

"We have no comment for the time being".

The U.S. also pressured European countries to cut ties with the Chinese telecom company amid links to the Chinese government and data security concerns.

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