Poland arrests Chinese businessman suspected of spying


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.

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

Beijing is "deeply concerned" over the arrest of a Chinese citizen in Poland on allegations of espionage, the country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.

Earlier, Poland's state television reported that one of the directors of the Polish division of China's telecom giant Huawei, as well as a former high-ranking employee of the Polish Internal Security Agency (ABW), were arrested on suspicion of spying for China.

The operation that resulted in the arrest of the two suspects had been underway for a long time and was planned with care, said Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special services. If convicted, the pair could face up to 10 years imprisonment.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada last month at the request of the US government.

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".

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But unlike Meng, who was detained for possible extradition to the U.S., Wang is suspected of conducting espionage against Poland. The homes of both men, also in Warsaw, were also searched, according to agency spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn.

In addition, TVP Info says, Internal Security Agency officers searched Huawei's headquarters in Poland, along with an Orange office where Piotr D. worked.

Due to the fact that the Huawei sales director is not protected by diplomatic immunity, he will remain in detention for at least three months, as the Polish detainee.

The agency did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for a response to the reports.

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

The company added, "we have no knowledge if there is any relation of these actions to his professional duties".

Last spring, Huawei surpassed Samsung to become Poland's top smartphone supplier with more than a third of the market, as China.org reported.