Huawei sales director nicked in Poland on suspicion of 'spying'

Huawei sales director nicked in Poland on suspicion of 'spying'

Huawei sales director nicked in Poland on suspicion of 'spying'

Polish state TV reported that the Chinese man is a director at Huawei in Poland and that the Pole has worked at the Internal Security Agency, the agency that investigates spying and terrorism. Polish security agents searched both the offices of Huawei and Orange, seizing documents and electronic data.

Huawei is facing increasing pressure across the European Union amid growing concerns that Beijing could use the company's equipment for spying, something executives have denied.

It's the latest setback for Huawei in Europe, where the company has ambitious plans to roll out next-generation "5G" mobile networks, which it is a leader in developing.

The US and other Western countries have been wary of trusting Huawei, and have raised concerns the company's telecoms equipment could be used by the Chinese government for spying.

Previous year, the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the director of national intelligence all warned USA citizens not to use Huawei products. A BBC report said that Huawei "told the BBC it was aware of the situation and was looking into it".

USA 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. The man, who went by the Polish first name Stanislaw, also worked at the Chinese consulate in the past.

If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison.

According to local media, the Chinese businessman is believed to be a director of the Polish branch of Huawei.

In mid-August, Washington enacted legislation banning USA government agencies from using Huawei products amid concerns that the company's mobile phones "pose an unacceptable risk to the [Pentagon's] personnel, information and mission".

While one was identified as the Huawei employee, the other was described as a Polish citizen and former security official.

Norway's comments come at a time in the country is seeking to stamp out vulnerabilities in its telecoms networks.

Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder and the company's CFO, was detained in December for allegedly violating United States trade sanctions with Huawei's business dealings in Iran. The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same. A spokesperson for Orange Polska told NPR that the company was cooperating with authorities. Until then, she's under strict bail conditions, which include electric monitoring and an around-the-clock security detail.

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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