Poland arrests Huawei employee on allegations of spying

The Huawei logo

The Huawei logo

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

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.

Both of them will remain in custody for the next three months and could face up to 10 years in prison.

The Polish national, Piotr D., was a former high-ranking officer of the Internal Security Agency until 2011.

According to a draft of China's national intelligence law that was recently released, all Chinese companies "shall support, cooperate with and collaborate in national intelligence work, and maintain the secrecy of national intelligence work they are aware of". The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

China is highly concerned over the issue, the press office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

They were detained by Poland's Internal Security Agency, TVP Info reported. He could not be immediately reached for comments.

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

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This is the latest in a long line of legal woes and global security concerns surrounding the Chinese-owned communications company, even as Prime Minister Joseph Muscat insists on pushing forward with a deal with the company for Malta. Approved in 2017, the law states that Chinese "organizations and citizens shall, in accordance with the law, support, cooperate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work".

Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. The company has been blocked in the USA since 2012 over fears that its equipment is a security risk, and past year Australia, New Zealand and Japan instituted their own bans against using Huawei.

Huawei's worldwide struggles have continued after one of its employees was arrested in Poland on the allegations of cyberespionage. Following Meng's arrest, China warned Canada of "grave consequences", and has since detained two Canadians on charges of endangering national security.

In Europe, Germany says it opposes banning any suppliers from its 5G networks.

Both men are said to have denied any wrongdoing, but many western countries are beginning to think again about using Huawei's telecoms equipment because of security concerns. Huawei's products are also regularly tested for security flaws by the UK's GCHQ intelligence agency.

Critics claim that Huawei has close ties to the Chinese government and thus could be coerced into using company equipment for espionage or even cyberattacks as directed by Beijing.

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