Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Huawei employee arrested in Poland on spying allegations

Huawei employee arrested in Poland on spying allegations

Poland has arrested a Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei's local office and one of its own former counterespionage officers.

A spokesman for the agency, Stanislaw Zaryn, said the two were arrested on Tuesday. Her arrest highlighted USA accusations that Huawei broke sanctions against Iran, but the US 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. Her arrest sparked a surge of patriotism in China with companies encouraging staff to buy Huawei smartphones.

Both people "carried out espionage activities against Poland", a Polish government official told the AP. Further indictments are expected, he said.

It was also reported that both detainees pleaded not guilty and refused to give explanations regarding the case. If convicted, the men could face up to 10 years in prison.

The person arrested is a former Huawei sales director in Poland and has worked with government customers. According to Reuters, the police had also raided the officers of Orange Polska, where the Polish national works.

He is a graduate of the Beijing University of Foreign Studies. The other is allegedly a former security agent who recently worked with the Polish branch of France's Orange telecommunications company.

In December, a Czech cybersecurity agency warned against using the software and hardware of Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE, saying they posed a threat to state security.

His case is the latest setback for Huawei.

Bradley said in a separate memo to Huawei Canada, which was reported by the Globe and Mail, that his exit was "not a sudden decision but rather an understanding over the past year and a half that at some point, I would be moving on from a formal role with the company".

Huawei said on January 12th that Wang's alleged actions aren't related to Huawei and that he brought the company "into disrepute".

In an emailed statement sent earlier today, a Huawei spokesperson told us: "Huawei is aware of the situation, and we are looking into it".

In addition to this, Huawei have come under fire from authorities in Norway, Germany, the United States, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, with several countries outright banning the use of their devices or equipment used in 5G mobile networks. One of them is reportedly a sales director for Huawei. Additionally, Poland is a key European market for the Chinese company, serving all four major network operators and controlling more than a quarter of the smartphone market.

The news outlet says "Piotr D" left the AWB following allegations of corruption, but was never formally charged.

Geopolitical tensions over Huawei intensified after Meng Wanzhou, its chief financial officer as well as the daughter of the company founder, was arrested December 1 in Canada in connection with US accusations that the company violated restrictions on sales of American technology to Iran. China's ambassador to Canada accused the country this week of "white supremacy" in calling for the release of the two Canadians, while describing the detentions as an "act of self-defense".

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