Caixin
Jan 12, 2019 03:14 AM
BUSINESS & TECH

Update: Huawei Executive Arrested and Charged With Spying in Poland

Huawei faces growing headwinds in foreign markets due to national security concerns. Photo: VCG
Huawei faces growing headwinds in foreign markets due to national security concerns. Photo: VCG

Polish authorities arrested a Chinese executive of Huawei Technologies Co. in Poland on charges of spying, Polish media reported.

The arrest followed the detention of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer and daughter of the company’s founder, last month in Canada in connection with alleged violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. The Chinese tech giant is under growing international scrutiny over alleged security concerns.

In a statement Friday to Poland’s official press agency PAP, Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland’s special service, confirmed that Wejing W. and a Polish citizen were arrested by the Polish Internal Security Agency Tuesday and charged with spying. The statement withheld the full name, citing a legal requirement.

But several other media reports, citing people familiar with the matter, identified the Chinese detainee as Weijing Wang, known in Poland as Stanislaw Wang.

A LinkedIn profile of Stanislaw Wang showed he has worked for Huawei’s Polish division since 2011. He was Huawei’s public affairs director in Poland before he became sales director at the beginning of 2017. The resume showed he received a bachelor’s degree in 2004 from the Beijing University of Foreign Studies.

The arrested Polish citizen was identified as Piotr D., an ex-security agent who recently worked for Orange Polska, a Polish telecommunications provider that is working with Huawei on 5G networks in Poland. He was the deputy head of the Polish Security Agency’s IT security department, according to the Polish state TV channel TVP.

A court in Warsaw Thursday decided to place both men under temporary arrest for three months, according to PAP. Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesman of the minister-coordinator of special services, said Friday in a press release that both men could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Huawei issued a statement from its Chinese headquarters late on Saturday saying Wang’s alleged activities in relation to the case were unrelated to his work for the company, and that the company had decided to terminate his employment.

“In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident in question has brought Huawei into disrepute,” the company said. “Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based.”

China’s Foreign Ministry said in response to media inquiries that it was “greatly concerned” by the incident and urged Poland to handle the case “justly.”

An official of the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw told the Associated Press that Chinese envoys had met with Polish Foreign Ministry officials on the matter. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said China urged Poland to inform China about the case and arrange a consular meeting with the Chinese citizen as soon as possible.

Huawei has been pushing hard to roll out next-generation 5G mobile telecom networks in Poland as it faces headwinds from many other countries that are concerned over security.

Huawei has repeatedly denied allegations of secret ties to the Chinese government, but the allegations have led several Western countries, including New Zealand, Australia and the U.S., to restrict Huawei’s access to their markets.

Updates previous story with Huawei statement saying Wang has been fired.

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)

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