Huawei fires employee arrested in Poland for spying

6 2018 shows a Huawei sign outside a store selling mobile phones in Beijing.- Despite being essentially barred from the critical US market Huawei surpassed Apple to become the world's number two smartphone maker in the

6 2018 shows a Huawei sign outside a store selling mobile phones in Beijing.- Despite being essentially barred from the critical US market Huawei surpassed Apple to become the world's number two smartphone maker in the

Huawei said Saturday it has fired a Chinese employee who was arrested in Poland on espionage allegations, as China's telecom giant distanced itself from the case amid Western concerns that it could act as a proxy for Chinese security services.

Poland said on Friday it had arrested a Chinese telecoms executive suspected of spying for China, with local media identifying him as a Huawei director. USA officials are claiming Huawei is working with the Chinese government, allowing its equipment to be used by the government for spying on Western adversaries.

During his time at Huawei, he attempted to create a favourable reputation for the Chinese company in Canada and to dispel worries that it is closely connected to the Chinese government.

Orange Poland told The Associated Press on Friday that officials from Poland's Internal Security Agency searched the company's headquarters in Warsaw on Tuesday and that as part of operation "we handed over belongings of one of our employees".

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

A senior Huawei Canada executive who served as the public face of the Chinese firm in this country since 2011 is parting ways with the Shenzen company as it faces growing problems around the world.

Huawei said in a statement that Wang's "alleged actions have no relation to the company".

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China's foreign ministry said it was "greatly concerned" by the reports, and urged Poland to handle the case "justly".

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. Last month, Huawei's CFO Wang Mei Zhou was arrested in Vancouver Canada for allegedly allowing Huawei to violate a United States sanction against Iran.

The arrests will no doubt be seen as an escalation in the tit-for-tat detention of employees between China and western countries like Canada and the US since December 1, 2018.

Even so, the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand have announced plans to remove Huawei equipment from their cellular networks, leaving Canada as the only country in the "Five Eyes" intelligence network not to take steps against the Chinese firm.

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

Earlier this week, Polish security agents searched the Warsaw offices of Huawei and Orange, Poland's leading communications provider, seizing documents and electronic data. Both the employee and the Pole, he said, had "carried out espionage activities against Poland".

Wang Weijing was detained along with a former Polish security official. Huawei has even hosted nearly 60 engineering students from Canada for work-study getaways to China through its global "Seeds for the Future" program.

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