Poland charges Huawei manager, ex-spy with spying for China

A paramilitary police officer cycles past the embassy of Canada in Beijing China Dec. 12 2018. REUTERS  Thomas Peter

A paramilitary police officer cycles past the embassy of Canada in Beijing China Dec. 12 2018. REUTERS Thomas Peter

Poland's Internal Security Agency has arrested a Chinese businessman and a Pole on suspicion of espionage, officials said on Friday.

Poland said Friday it had arrested a Chinese telecoms executive suspected of spying for China, with local media identifying him as a Huawei director.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special service, said the two arrested men "carried out espionage activities against Poland" and the operation to arrest them was underway for a long time.

In December, a Czech cyber-security agency warned against using the software and hardware of Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE, saying they posed a threat to state security.

TVP reported that the men have proclaimed their innocence, but Zaryn said he could not confirm that.

The development comes as the U.S.is exerting pressure on its allies to block Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecommunications network equipment, over data security concerns.

Two Huawei employees have been arrested in Poland for allegedly spying on the Chinese government's behalf.

He worked at Orange, a company that worked with Huawei to roll out next-generation 5G mobile networks in Poland, the BBC reported.

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.

In December, Canadian authorities arrested a top Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, at the behest of USA authorities as part of an investigation into alleged violations of US trade sanctions, raising tensions with China at a time when Washington and Beijing are engaged in a broader trade war.

In an emailed statement sent earlier today, a Huawei spokesperson told us: "Huawei is aware of the situation, and we are looking into it. 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". The company added it did not know if the investigation was linked to the employee's professional work, and that it would continue to cooperate with the authorities.

The United States wants Meng Wanzhou extradited to face charges that she misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.

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