Poland arrests Huawei exec on spying allegations

Poland arrests Huawei exec on spying allegations

Another senior Huawei employee, Vice-President Meng Wanzhou, who is the daughter of the founder of the company, was also arrested in Canada last month.

Germany has said it's considering restricting Huawei's role in its future telecom infrastructure, while Czech President Milos Zeman said on Friday China is preparing an economically damaging reprisal against his country after the authorities issued warnings about Huawei and risks it poses to security.

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

Internal Security Agency officers have searched the headquarters of Huawei's Polish branch and the offices of the Orange telecommunications corporation, where the Polish suspect worked after leaving the agency, TVP Info said.

One of them is reportedly a sales director for Huawei. The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same. Security services searched their homes and the offices of Huawei and Orange Polska, the Polish business of French mobile operator Orange SA.

China's foreign ministry said it was "greatly concerned" by the reports, and urged Poland to handle the case "justly".

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.

Polish state television TVP reported that the men have proclaimed their innocence, but Zaryn said he could not confirm that. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

Why are there concerns about Huawei?

The tech company has been a focal point of worldwide scrutiny, with several countries raising security concerns about its products.

It's alleged that China may use the company as a proxy to spy on rival nations.

The Commission spokesperson did not want to respond on whether the European Union executive was concerned about the possibility of Polish or European Union nationals being arrested in China.

In addition to this, Huawei have come under fire from authorities in Norway, Germany, the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, with several countries outright banning the use of their devices or equipment used in 5G mobile networks.

The accusations add to Huawei's troubles of late as Western governments grow anxious that Huawei's systems could be used by Chinese intelligence.

The development comes as the United States is exerting pressure on its allies to block Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecommunications network equipment, over data security concerns. Huawei's products are also regularly tested for security flaws by the UK's GCHQ intelligence agency.

"Despite efforts in some markets to create fear about Huawei and to use politics to interfere with industry growth, we are proud to say that our customers continue to trust us", said Ken Hu, the company's rotating chief executive and deputy chair.

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