Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

Evarado Alatorre
Enero 11, 2019

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 state TV, which is close to the government, identified the Chinese man as Weijing W., saying he was a director in Poland at Huawei, the Chinese conglomerate that produces telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics.

China's foreign ministry said it was "greatly concerned" by the reports, and urged Poland to handle the case "justly".

A Huawei spokesman has said the company is aware of the arrest, but has made no further comment.

In a statement, Huawei said it "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".

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

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is one of its most powerful smartphones ever
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is one of its most powerful smartphones ever

The firm's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada in December over allegations of breaking of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

TVP said the security services also searched the offices of Poland's telecoms regulator, the Office of Electronic Communications, but the regulator denied this.

The West's security concerns surrounding Huawei, and fellow Chinese telecoms equipment firm ZTE Corp 0763.HK 000063.SZ , centre around China's National Intelligence Law.

Spying, and working in concert with the Chinese government, are the two chief allegations several Western nations are leveling against Huawei, which recently overtook Apple as the world's second-largest smartphone manufacturer.

This has sparked fears Huawei could be asked by the Chinese government to incorporate "backdoors" into their equipment that would allow Beijing access, for spying or sabotage purposes.

The operation that resulted in the arrest of the two suspects had been underway for a long time and was planned with care, said Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special services.

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