Huawei worker amongst two arrested in Poland over spying allegations

Charlene Craig
January 14, 2019

The arrest comes on the back of a hard year for Huawei, which has seen the arrest of the daughter of the firm's founder in Canada and U.S. efforts to blacklist the company internationally over security concerns. The arrest deals a brutal blow to the Chinese company.

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.

Huawei had ambitious plans in Europe to roll out next-generation "5G" mobile networks.

Western governments are anxious that Huawei's systems could be used by Chinese intelligence.

The Huawei employee detained in Poland is a Chinese citizen responsible for sales to public sector clients, television news channel TVPInfo said on Friday.

He added that the investigation "had been going on for a while, and had been handled with great care". 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.

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

Economic factors aside, the arrest of Wang is, in fact, something those who understand the power of 5G have expressed concern about: that the technology will be used as an espionage tool by Beijing.

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

Orange told the AP it did not know if the suspicions against its employee were related to his professional duties and that it was working with the country's security agency.

Geopolitical tensions over Huawei have intensified since Canada arrested a top executive last month at the request of USA authorities.

A woman uses her phone as she walks past a Huawei shop in Beijing, China, December 19, 2018.

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Huawei, founded by Ren Zhengfei-a former officer at China's People's Liberation Army-has been cited as a security risk in intelligence circles due to having close ties to the Chinese communist regime.

Its products have been subject to blocks and bans in some countries, including the US, Australia and New Zealand.

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.

Polish security forces have arrested a Chinese Huawei employee on allegations of spying.

Scott Bradley, a well-connected corporate lobbyist who endeavoured to portray Huawei as a beneficial contributor to Canada's economic development, quietly left the company earlier this week.

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