Poland arrests Huawei employee as spy, while Malta pushes forward with deal

A Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei was arrested in Poland and charged with espionage on behalf of China

A Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei was arrested in Poland and charged with espionage on behalf of China

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.

TVP reported that Huawei's office in Poland had been searched by the AWB, along with the offices of Orange Polska where the Polish national reportedly worked.

There has been no public evidence that Huawei's equipment has been used for spying and the firm has repeatedly denied the claims, but several western countries have restricted Huawei's access to their markets and have pressured Canada to do the same.

Norway came out against Huawei on Wednesday (9 December), as Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara disclosed that the country is considering excluding the Chinese firm from investing in the next generation of mobile communications (5G).

Though the Canadian government launched a security review of Huawei's 5G technology a year ago, 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.

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

Huawei, founded by Ren Zhengfei-a former officer at China's People's Liberation Army-has been cited as a security risk in intelligence circles due to having close ties to the Chinese communist regime.

The news agency quotes Huawei as offering no comment, beyond saying that it is aware of the case and is monitoring the situation.

Poland has arrested a sales director for Chinese telecoms giant Huawei over allegations of working with Beijing's intelligence services.

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The detainees were charged with Article 130 paragraph 1 of espionage against the Republic of Poland. They will remain in custody for three months.

Sources told The Wall Street Journal that the arrested Huawei employee is a sales director in Poland, identified as Weijing Wang.

The pair was arrested by the country's Internal Security Agency on Tuesday and hit with espionage charges, according to a release from the agency.

The arrest might not have a big impact on broader trade tensions between China and the United States, but it shows that "there will always be competition and acrimony related to Chinese tech companies", Benner said. "We have no comment for the time being".

Orange Poland told the AP on Friday it was cooperating with Polish security services in the case and had "handed over belongings of one of our employees" in Tuesday's search of its offices.

Last month, Huawei's CFO Wang Mei Zhou was arrested in Vancouver Canada for allegedly allowing Huawei to violate a USA sanction against Iran. The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

The Chinese foreign ministry said it was "greatly concerned" by the reports, and urged Poland to handle the case "justly". US prosecutors have accused her of misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating USA sanctions. A spokesperson for Orange Polska told NPR that the company was cooperating with authorities.

Huawei has been scrutinized for security concerns over its involvement in the development of 5G infrastructures.

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