Poland Arrests Huawei Employee on Spy Charges

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2019

Mr Wang did not immediately respond to a request for comment via the social media site.

As Poland added to the global scrutiny of Huawei Technologies Co on Friday (Jan 11) with the arrest of a company employee and a local former security agent, the country's authorities also exposed the division in Europe over policy towards the Chinese technology giant.

Huawei's relations with British authorities hit a low last month when a top official walked out of a meeting with the Chinese company over its perceived failure to fix security holes in its products, sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.

According to a LinkedIn profile, Mr Wang was a sales director at the firm and worked as an attache at China's embassy in Poland from 2006-11.

Citing management rules in company contracts, Huawei said it "has made a decision to immediately terminate its employer relationship with Wang Weijing".

Polish state TV said that one of two people arrested was a Chinese man identified as Weijing W., who was a Huawei director in Poland.

China is highly concerned over the issue, the press office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

In addition, Poland Internal Security Agency also arrested a Polish official who understands the Polish government's encrypted communication network infrastructure.

Federal Bureau of Investigation director Chris Wray said in February that they were concerned about allowing a company "that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks".

He is a graduate of the Beijing University of Foreign Studies. Extradition to the U.S. has already begun for a warrant alleging sanctions violations in trade with Iran.

Its media-shy founder, Ren Zhengfei, is also a former engineer in China's army and joined the Communist Party in 1978.

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

A spokeswoman for Huawei confirmed to NBC News that one of its employees had been taken into custody. She was granted bail by the Canadian supreme court in December 2018.

The US blocked Huawei from operating in its territory in 2012, when a House Intelligence Committee report said it was a security risk.

New Zealand, Australia and the United States have barred Huawei from involvement in their next-generation 5G mobile networks. But the country's IT watchdog says it had seen no evidence Huawei could use its equipment to spy for Beijing.

Huawei's business is thriving in many places. State-controlled telecoms firm Telenor signed a partnership with Huawei in 2009, that gave the Chinese company a foundation to expand further on the continent.

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