Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Huawei employee arrested, accused of "high-level espionage" for China

Maciej Wasik Maciej Wasik deputy head of Poland’s special services
Ellis Copeland | 13 January, 2019, 12:45

State TV identified the Polish man as Piotr D., and said he was a high-ranking employee at the Internal Security Agency, where he served as deputy director in the department of information security, until 2011. Further, the ministry said that China's Warsaw embassy is in touch with Polish authorities, requesting updates, consular access to Wang and ensuring the protection of his rights.

Wang's arrest is the latest setback for Huawei.

Orange Poland told The Associated Press on Friday that officials from Poland's Internal Security Agency searched the company's headquarters in Warsaw on Tuesday and that as part of operation "we handed over belongings of one of our employees".

The Canadian government a year ago launched a new security review of Huawei's 5G technology, which at least two major Canadian carriers have said they plan to test in small-scale pilots.

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

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.

China arrested two Canadian citizens nearly immediately after Meng's arrest-Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who are accused of endangering China's national security.

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Huawei has come under global scrutiny lately.

In response to the searches and arrests, Huawei stated that the company will investigate the allegations and that it expects every employee to comply with local law. According to national media reports, after his departure from the agency, he was involved in IT security at the Military University of Technology and the Office of Electronic Communications and Orange.

Polish authorities announced on Friday that a Huawei director, Wang Wjing, and a Polish cybersecurity expert were accused of carrying out "espionage against Poland". 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.

Huawei had ambitious plans in Europe to roll out next-generation "5G" mobile networks.

Wara said that Norway shares "the same concerns as the United States and Britain" with regards to espionage projects contracted on "private and state actors in Norway".

Some Chinese media commentators had warned in the nationalistic Global Times of coordination between Poland and the United States, which is seeking the extradition of Meng over Huawei's alleged breach of U.S. sanctions on Iran. USA officials have not produced much public evidence for these concerns, but this arrest will underscore Huawei's potentially malicious ambitions.

Past year the company also said it had signed memorandums of understanding for 5G equipment with 45 operators in Asia, Europe and North America.

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