Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

Authorities in Poland arrested an employee of the Chinese tech giant Huawei and charged him with espionage, Reuters reported. The Eastern European country's officers have seized documents from both Huawei's and Orange's offices.

Both men are said to have denied any wrongdoing, but many western countries are beginning to think again about using Huawei's telecoms equipment because of security concerns.

Huawei told the BBC it had no immediate comment.

The developments come after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver, Canada in early December 2018 at the request of United States law enforcement officials.

The AP wrote that the arrest of the Huawei employee is "a fresh sign that a USA dispute with China over its ban on the company is spilling over to Europe, Huawei's biggest foreign market".

Of the latest reported arrest of its staff, Huawei said in a statement to Reuters that it was "aware of the situation, and we are looking into it".

Poland's Internal Security Agency accuses Huawei's sales director in Poland of spying on behalf of China, arresting the Chinese citizen along with one other man.

"It's not the beginning of this case but it's also not the end", he said.

The Huawei logo displayed at the main office of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

According to Polish media, the Chinese suspect, named as "Weijing W.", is a sales director for Huawei's Polish branch.

"On January 8, they were detained, the Internal Security Agency carried out procedural acts, and searches were carried out in many places related to their activities", deputy minister of the special services coordinator Maciej Wąsik told Polsat News. The company has been blocked in the US since 2012 over fears that its equipment is a security risk, and a year ago Australia, New Zealand and Japan instituted their own bans against using Huawei.

TVP reports that the Polish national, "Piotr D" was a former high-ranking member of Poland's internal security agency (AWB).

Huawei has come under global scrutiny lately.

The arrest might not have a big impact on broader trade tensions between China and the USA, but it shows that "there will always be competition and acrimony related to Chinese tech companies", Benner said.

The Chinese government said it was "highly concerned" over reports of the arrest of a Chinese businessman for alleged espionage.

Nevertheless, tensions have recently increased between Canada and China over the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver and the detention of two Canadians in China, which some speculate was done in response to Meng's arrest. Spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski declined to comment on Huawei cooperation but confirmed that the Warsaw-based company handed over an employee's belongings to the authorities.

Germany has said it's considering restricting Huawei's role in its future telecom infrastructure, while Czech President Milos Zeman said on Friday China is preparing an economically damaging reprisal against his country after the authorities issued warnings about Huawei and risks it poses to security.

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