Top Huawei executive arrested in Poland for espionage

Blanche Robertson
January 13, 2019

The Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei says it has sacked an employee arrested in Poland on spying charges.

A woman uses her phone as she walks past a Huawei shop in Beijing, China, December 19, 2018.

"Polish authorities detained and charged a local sales director of Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese national, with conducting high-level espionage on behalf of China", The Wall Street Journal wrote today.

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

"In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei's labour contract, we have made this decision because the incident has brought Huawei into disrepute", it added.

Poland's cyber-security chief, Karol Okonski, told RMF Radio that ideally the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would be "as consistent as possible" on Huawei.

His departure was associated with the so-called infoafera - a case related to corruption in government IT tenders.

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It comes after Canadian officials arrested a top Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in December at the behest of USA authorities as part of an investigation into alleged violations of US trade sanctions. The arrest was made as a part of ongoing investigations into the alleged violations of USA trade sanctions. The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

Huawei, which is privately owned under a complex shareholding structure, was founded in 1984 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer with the People's Liberation Army who sat on the 12th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

A spokeswoman for Huawei confirmed to NBC News that one of its employees had been taken into custody.

Nevertheless, tensions have recently increased between Canada and China over the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver and the detention of two Canadians in China, which some speculate was done in response to Meng's arrest. She has been released on bail, but faces a lengthy legal fight over extradition to the United States.

Nonetheless, intelligence bods recommended banning the use of the kit, and official blocks are in place for state-funded projects in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Instead, many analysts in China have painted the attacks on Huawei as an attempt to thwart the rise of a Chinese technological giant, and insulate Western firms from competition.

Last month, Britain's largest mobile provider BT said that it would remove Huawei equipment from its cellular network after the foreign intelligence service called the company a security risk.

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