Poland arrests Chinese Huawei employee, Polish national over spying allegations

Sergio Conner
January 11, 2019

Huawei has been blocked in the USA since 2012, when a House Intelligence Committee report found it was a security risk and recommended that the government and private companies stop buying its network equipment.

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".

Huawei has repeatedly denied claims of secret ties to the Chinese government.

Polish security services have arrested a Chinese national and Polish national for spying, according to local press.

The country's security services searched the offices of Huawei as well as Orange Polska, public television said. "Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based", it continued.

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

TVP said the security services also searched the offices of Poland's telecoms regulator, the Office of Electronic Communications, but the regulator denied this.

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It comes after Canadian officials arrested a top Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in December at the behest of USA authorities as part of an investigation into alleged violations of US trade sanctions.

The West's security concerns surrounding Huawei, and fellow Chinese telecoms equipment firm ZTE Corp 0763.HK 000063.SZ , centre around China's National Intelligence Law.

"A Pole and a Chinese citizen have been arrested on suspicion of spying". As well as producing smartphones, the Chinese corporation develops mobile network infrastructure used in many countries, which some nations see as a potential security risk.

The operation that resulted in the arrest of the two suspects had been underway for a long time and was planned with care, said Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special services.

A Huawei representative said the company was looking into the matter.

The agency did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for a response to the reports.

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