Huawei employee arrested over alleged spying

Huawei employee arrested over alleged spying

Huawei employee arrested over alleged spying

Reports have shown that the Chinese technology giant circumvented sanctions imposed on Iran and North Korea by providing them with telecommunications equipment that can be used to spy on their populations, otherwise known as "dual use technologies".

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 Huawei employee was identified as the company's sales director for Poland, Weijing W., while the Polish citizen, Piotr D., worked for a telecommunications company called Orange Polska.

Poland also arrested a Polish man "who [formerly] held several top government cybersecurity positions", the Associated Press reported.

As Poland added to the global scrutiny of Huawei Technologies Co on Friday (Jan 11) with the arrest of a company employee and a local former security agent, the country's authorities also exposed the division in Europe over policy towards the Chinese technology giant.

It said that the pair had been charged under Polish laws relating to espionage and Polish state news agency PAP said that they would be detained for three months.

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

The move is the latest setback for Huawei, which saw the arrest of the daughter of the firm's founder in Canada and USA efforts to blacklist the company internationally over security concerns.

Geopolitical tensions over Huawei intensified after Meng Wanzhou, its chief financial officer as well as the daughter of the company founder, was arrested December 1 in Canada in connection with US accusations that the company violated restrictions on sales of American technology to Iran. Her arrest sparked a surge of patriotism in China with companies encouraging staff to buy Huawei smartphones. She was reportedly charged with fraud for telling the UK-based banking company HSBC that the Chinese tech giant was in full compliance with USA sanctions against Iran, while one of its subsidiaries was not complying with the restrictions. United States lawmakers have raised concern that Huawei and other Chinese tech giants have ties to the Chinese government, something these companies have consistently denied.

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.

Authorities also arrested a former Polish government official on similar charges. 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.

The company has previously said it does not pose a security threat and that it's never been asked by any government to build backdoors or interrupt any networks.

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