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'Chinese, Polish nationals' arrested in Poland for 'spying'

11 January 2019

Polish state TV, which is close to the government, identified the Chinese man as Weijing W., saying he was a director in Poland at Huawei, the Chinese conglomerate that produces telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics.

Poland has arrested a Chinese employee of Huawei and a Polish national involved in cyber business on allegations of spying, Polish media reported on Friday, deepening the controversy over Western criticism of the Chinese telecoms equipment maker.

Orange Polska spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski said "ABW officials had carried out items belonging to one of our employees on Tuesday".

Some European governments and telecom companies are following the US lead in questioning whether using Huawei for vital infrastructure for mobile networks could leave them exposed to snooping by the Chinese government.

While the MateBook 13 was certainly Huawei's biggest focus at CES 2019, it wasn't the only announcement from the company.

Polish media outlets said the Polish suspect is thought to be a former agent for Poland's ABW counter-intelligence service who is now working as a cyber-security consultant for the Polish branch of French mobile phone provider Orange.

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TVP reports that the Polish national, "Piotr D" was a former high-ranking member of Poland's internal security agency (AWB).

TVP said the men have not pleaded guilty and are refusing to give testimony in the case.

The pair are set to remain in custody for at least three months and apparently face up to ten years in prison. Under Polish law, their last names can not be published ahead of trial. "We have no comment for the time being", Huawei said in a statement.

US intelligence agencies allege Huawei Technologies Cos Ltd [HWT.UL] is linked to China's government and that its equipment could contain "backdoors" for use by government spies.

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.

'Chinese, Polish nationals' arrested in Poland for 'spying'