Chinese Huawei employee arrested on spying charge in Poland


The Chinese technology giant is facing increasing pressure across the European Union amid growing concerns that Beijing could use Huawei's gear for spying - something the company has always denied.

Poland's state security agency arrested a Chinese national and a Polish national on Friday over allegations of spying, Poland's state news agency PAP reported.

The detainees were charged with Article 130 paragraph 1 of espionage against the Republic of Poland. If they are found guilty, they face up to 10 years in prison. Further indictments are expected, he said.

A high ranking Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was also arrested by Canadian authorities in December 2018, at the request of the USA authorities.

The Chinese government retaliated against the arrest by detaining Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, about a month ago, claiming he's a national security risk.

Last month, the European Union condemned the detention of the Canadian nationals Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

The Chinese man was identified as Weijing W. and reportedly worked as a director in Poland at Huawei.

Wang's resume said he worked at China's General Consulate in Gdansk from 2006-2011 and at Huawei Enterprise Poland since 2011, where he was first director of public affairs and since 2017 the "sales director of public sector".

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His departure was associated with the so-called infoafera - a case related to corruption in government IT tenders. The homes of both men, also in Warsaw, were also searched, according to agency spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn.

Both people "carried out espionage activities against Poland", a Polish government official told the AP.

Wasik said the arrest of the two suspects had been underway for a long time and was carefully planned. Those included the Interior Ministry, the Office of Electronic Communications, a regulatory body that oversees cyber and other telecommunications issues, and the International Security Agency, Poland's counterespionage agency.

Huawei said in a terse statement that it was "aware of the situation" and "looking into it". The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

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. The US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Norway are among them.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro (above) is one of its most powerful smartphones ever.

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

Wara said that Norway shares "the same concerns as the United States and Britain" with regards to espionage projects contracted on "private and state actors in Norway". "We have no comment for the time being".