Poland arrests Chinese Huawei employee, Polish national over spying allegations

Poland arrests Chinese Huawei employee, Polish national over spying allegations

Poland's Internal Security Agency has charged a Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei in Poland and one of its own former officers with espionage against Poland on behalf of China, Polish state television reported on Friday.

Polish security agents also searched the offices of Huawei and Orange, Poland's leading communications provider, where the Pole had recently worked, seizing documents and electronic data.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special service, said the two arrested men "carried out espionage activities against Poland" and the operation to arrest them was underway for a long time.

Ties between the United States and China have become increasingly strained since Canadian authorities arrested a Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in December at the request of USA authorities. The Chinese ministry of foreign affairs said it was "greatly concerned" and that it expects Poland to "justly" manage the case.

The West's security concerns surrounding Huawei, and fellow Chinese telecoms equipment firm ZTE Corp, center around China's National Intelligence Law.

TVP reported that Huawei's office in Poland had been searched by the AWB, along with the offices of Orange Polska where the Polish national reportedly worked.

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Her arrest highlighted US accusations that Huawei broke sanctions against Iran, but the USA has also been pushing to try to curtail Huawei's influence, warning about the company's possible ties to Chinese intelligence and calling on countries to exclude the company as they build new 5G networks.

In an emailed statement sent earlier today, a Huawei spokesperson told us: "Huawei is aware of the situation, and we are looking into it. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based".

Two individuals were arrested, the second being a Polish national.

Local media identified the Chinese man as a Huawei official but the company has not confirmed the claim.

The agency did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for a response to the reports.

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