Poland arrests employee of Chinese tech giant Huawei for spying for gov't


Though the Canadian government launched a security review of Huawei's 5G technology previous year, it is still a major supplier of telecommunications equipment in Canada and at least two major carriers have said they plan to test the company's 5G technology in small-scale pilots.

The Chinese national is an employee of Huawei, Poland's public TV channel TVP said.

Polish media identified Piotr D as a former agent for Poland's ABW counter-intelligence service and current cybersecurity consultant for the Polish branch of French mobile phone provider Orange.

According to CNBC, which cites the original Polish report, the two men will reportedly be detained by authorities for at least three months.

Poland's Internal Security Agency has arrested a Chinese businessman and a Polish citizen over espionage allegations, officials said on Friday. The Eastern European country's officers have seized documents from both Huawei's and Orange's offices. If convicted, the pair could face up to 10 years imprisonment.

Both people "carried out espionage activities against Poland", a Polish government official told the AP.

Last spring, Huawei surpassed Samsung to become Poland's top smartphone supplier with more than a third of the market, as China.org reported.

Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested December 1 in Canada in connection with USA accusations that the company violated restrictions on sales of American technology to Iran.

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The Huawei logo displayed at the main office of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

China's foreign ministry said it was "greatly concerned" by the reports, and urged Poland to handle the case "justly". She was arrested on suspicion of hiding her company's ties to Skycom, a small telecoms subsidiary that conducted business dealings in Iran in violation of U.S. trade sanctions.

Huawei issued a statement from its Chinese headquarters that said it was aware of the situation and looking into it.

Norway's comments come at a time in the country is seeking to stamp out vulnerabilities in its telecoms networks.

Australia and New Zealand have also enacted similar bans, leaving Canada the only country in the "Five Eyes" intelligence network not to take steps against the Chinese firm. The company's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was detained in Canada in December and faces charges that she violated United States trade sanctions. Orange Polska's spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski declined to comment on Huawei cooperation while confirming that the Warsaw-based company handed over an employee's belongings to the Polish authorities on Tuesday.

Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company founder, as she transited through the country.

Huawei has always maintained that, as a privately owned and operated firm, it does not pose a special security risk.