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Huawei sales director arrested in Poland over spying allegations

14 January 2019

A spokesman for the Polish security services said the allegations relate to individuals' actions and were not linked directly to Huawei Technologies Cos Ltd. Those included the Interior Ministry, the Office of Electronic Communications, a regulatory body that oversees cyber and other telecommunications issues, and the International Security Agency, Poland's counterespionage agency. Orange spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski said the company handed over an employee's belongings to the authorities.

Officers of Poland's counterintelligence agency also searched the local Huawei office as well as the homes of both suspects. Both the employee and the Pole, he said, had "carried out espionage activities against Poland".

Chinese tech giant Huawei is at the centre of several diplomatic rows, most spurred by concerns over security.

The pair are set to remain in custody for at least three months and apparently face up to ten years in prison.

"Huawei has always abided by applicable laws and regulations of the country where it is located... and requires all employees to abide by the country's laws and regulations", it said.

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A BBC report said that Huawei "told the BBC it was aware of the situation and was looking into it". It said the man also went by the Polish first name of Stanislaw and had previously worked at the Chinese consulate in Gdansk.

This is the second incident after Huawei's CFO got arrested in Canada.

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. One of them is reportedly a sales director for Huawei.

Past year it held talks with Poland's government about setting up a science-and-technology center near Warsaw, and is working local units of French mobile operator Orange SA and Germany's Deutsche Telekom to set up fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks.

Weijing Wang is a Polish language graduate of Beijing Foreign Studies University.

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This refusal to use Huawei's products come from the belief that doing so would pose "significant risks to national security" and potentially provide sensitive information back to Beijing through "backdoors" installed in Huawei products.

The two Huawei arrests follows Huawei being blocked from involvement in the 5G rollouts in a string of western nations, including Australia, New Zealand and Japan, while intelligence services in Britain and Canada have also announced reviews into Huawei.

A high ranking Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was also arrested by Canadian authorities in December 2018, at the request of the USA authorities.

Following her arrest two Canadians were detained in China on grounds of national security, in what has largely been seen as retaliation for the case.

United States intelligence agencies allege that Huawei is linked to China's government and that "backdoors" built into its technology could be exploited by government spy agencies.

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Huawei sales director arrested in Poland over spying allegations