Poland arrests Huawei employee on allegations of spying

Poland arrests Huawei employee on allegations of spying

As Poland added to the global scrutiny of Huawei Technologies Co on Friday (Jan 11) with the arrest of a company employee and a local former security agent, the country's authorities also exposed the division in Europe over policy towards the Chinese technology giant.

Huawei New Zealand deputy managing director Andrew Bowater offered the concession in the wake of the arrest of one its employees in Poland on spying charges.

"In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei's labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident has brought Huawei into disrepute", the statement said.

Huawei has been scrutinized for security concerns over its involvement in the development of 5G infrastructures. In addition, TVP Info says, Internal Security Agency officers searched Huawei's headquarters in Poland, along with an Orange office where Piotr D. worked.

Countries like the United States, Australia and Japan have blocked Huawei from building their next-generation, super-fast 5G internet networks. NPR also notes that Huawei has the biggest market share in Poland's cellphone market, with about a third.

The Chinese national is a former employee of the country's consulate in the Baltic Sea port of Gdansk, according to TVPInfo television. Further indictments are expected, he said.

Both of them will remain in custody for the next three months and could face up to 10 years in prison.

TVP identified the arrested Chinese man as Weijing W., saying he was a sales director in Poland at Huawei.

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A Huawei spokesman said it the alleged actions of Mr Wang had "no relation to the company".

He is a graduate of the Beijing University of Foreign Studies.

Both men, says the Polish report, are charged with helping Chinese authorities to the detriment of Poland's national security. According to Reuters, the police had also raided the officers of Orange Polska, where the Polish national works.

He had access to key information, including the functioning of SŁR, the Polish Government Communication Network which essentially allows secret transmission of information to high-ranking state officials.

Last month, Huawei's CFO Wang Mei Zhou was arrested in Vancouver Canada for allegedly allowing Huawei to violate a U.S. sanction against Iran.

Citing the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, state broadcaster CCTV said that Beijing is "closely following" the detention of Wang and has asked to arrange a consular visit "as soon as possible".

Orange Polska spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski told AFP that "ABW officials carried out items belonging to one of our employees on Tuesday".

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