Hmmm: Huawei exec arrested for espionage in Poland

Posted January 14, 2019

Spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski declined to comment on Huawei cooperation but confirmed that the Warsaw-based company handed over an employee's belongings to the authorities.

The two men were arrested on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, Polish security agents searched the Warsaw offices of Huawei and Orange, Poland's leading communications provider, seizing documents and electronic data.

The Chinese foreign ministry expressed grave concerns over the incident and urged Poland to protect the lawful rights of the Chinese detainee.

Along with the Chinese national, whose name has been reported as Weijinga W., the Polish counterintelligence service, the Internal Security Agency (ABW), arrested Polish national Piotr D., the ABW's own former employee, Polish broadcaster TVP.

People passing by a vehicle park sign of the Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

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Both men have reportedly heard the charges against them and will be held for three-months.

A representative from Huawei said the company "is aware of the situation and is looking into it".

News of the executive's arrest comes amid speculation that Beijing is using Huawei to spy on USA companies as they build out the world's next generation of mobile-telecom networks.

Though the Canadian government launched a security review of Huawei's 5G technology previous year, it is still a major supplier of telecommunications equipment in Canada and at least two major carriers have said they plan to test the company's 5G technology in small-scale pilots.

Wang is a graduate of the Beijing University of Foreign Studies who formerly worked in China's consulate in Gdansk, according to his LinkedIn page.

Orange Polska worked with Huawei previous year on introducing the latest fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless network in the country of 38 million.

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USA officials have reportedly fanned out across Europe to urge governments and Huawei suppliers to shun the company.

Orange Polska said in a statement security services had on Tuesday gathered materials related to an employee, whom it did not identify.

New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. have barred Huawei from involvement in their next-generation 5G mobile networks.

It has also become involved in the US-China trade dispute after the arrest last month of chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

On Dec. 10, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on vague national security allegations in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest.

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

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The law has been interpreted by western intelligence agencies as requiring any Chinese citizen or company linked to China to engage in espionage or to collect intelligence anywhere in the world if requested.