Huawei arrests in Poland show how Trump v China tests Europe

12 January, 2019, 11:14 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

Poland's Internal Security Agency has detained a high-ranking employee of Chinese tech giant Huawei on suspicions of spying for China.

Poland's TVP Info reported that ABW agents searched both Orange and Huawei's offices on Tuesday, having received court approval last week.

The UK has not enacted a ban, but British telecom provider BT has said it will not use Huawei equipment in its new 5G network in the UK.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat even went as far as praising Sai Mizzi, wife of Minister Konrad Mizzi whose allegations on money laundering have become too long to document, for introducing Huawei and its 5G network to Malta.

Chinese authorities have been critical of how last month's arrest of Meng, Huawei's CFO, was handled.

The development comes as a USA dispute with China over a ban on Huawei is spilling over to Europe, the company's biggest foreign market, where some countries are also starting to shun its network systems over data security concerns.

U.S. intelligence agencies allege that Huawei is linked to China's government and that "backdoors" built into its technology could be exploited by government spy agencies.

He said no further details would be released about the case because it is classified and the investigation is ongoing.

More news: ExxonMobil, IBM Partner on Quantum Computing

The Huawei logo displayed at the main office of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Reports identified the Huawei employee as Weijing Wang and the Polish man as Piotr D. Each person could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, the AP wrote.

Huawei, as CNN reports, is one of the foremost telecom companies in China, selling more phones than Apple, with an interest in branching out into a larger, global market.

"The materials collected by the Internal Security Agency show that both men conducted espionage activities against Poland", Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesman for Poland's secret services chief, said in a statement.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it was "highly concerned" about the arrests.

Its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou - the daughter of its founder - was arrested in Canada last month and faces extradition to the USA on charges of breaking Iran sanctions. The company has been blocked in the US since 2012 over fears that its equipment is a security risk, and previous year Australia, New Zealand and Japan instituted their own bans against using Huawei. "We have no comment for the time being".

The United States wants Meng extradited to face charges that she misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran. 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.

Telenor is now testing 5G networks with the use of Chinese equipment supplied by Huawei, but with Friday's arrests, pressure will only mount on the firm, who sought to substantiate their presence on the continent with the establishment of an European Union headquarters in Brussels in 2018.

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