Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Poland arrests Huawei employee over spying allegations

Poland arrests Huawei employee over spying allegations

Polish security services have charged a Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei in Poland and a Polish former intelligence officer with espionage against the country on behest of China.

The Chinese suspect is an employee of Huawei, Poland's public television channel TVP said.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special services.

In mid-August, Washington enacted legislation banning U.S. government agencies from using Huawei products amid concerns that the company's mobile phones "pose an unacceptable risk to the [Pentagon's] personnel, information and mission".

TVP said the men have not pleaded guilty and are refusing to give testimony in the case. If convicted, the men could face up to 10 years in prison.

The U.S. criticism has led to a number of Western countries and companies to review whether they should allow Huawei's equipment to be used in their telecoms networks. Also going by the Polish first name Stanislaw, the Chinese man had previously worked at the Chinese consulate.

TVP, which is government-controlled media, identified the arrested Chinese man as Weijing W., saying he was a director in Poland at Huawei.

Huawei is a leader in the development of next-generation "5G" mobile networks and a key player in building them in Europe.

State TV identified the Polish man as Piotr D., and said he was a high-ranking employee at the Internal Security Agency until 2011, where he served as deputy director in the department of information security.

Ties between the USA and China have become increasingly strained since Canadian authorities arrested a Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in December at the request of United States authorities.

Huawei, which makes telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics, said in a statement that it was "aware of the situation, and we are looking into it".

The Chinese government said it was "highly concerned" over reports of the arrest of a Chinese businessman for alleged espionage. The company added it did not know if the investigation was linked to the employee's professional work, and that it would continue to cooperate with the authorities. She was granted bail but remains in Vancouver under 24-hour surveillance.

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