Poland Ar­rests Chi­nese Busi­ness­man Sus­pected of Spy­ing


WAR­SAW (Dis­patches) - Poland said Fri­day it had ar­rested a Chi­nese tele­coms ex­ec­u­tive sus­pected of spy­ing for China, with lo­cal me­dia iden­ti­fy­ing him as a Huawei di­rec­tor.

The move is the lat­est set­back for Huawei, which saw the ar­rest of the daugh­ter of the firm’s founder in Canada and US ef­forts to black­list the com­pany in­ter­na­tion­ally over se­cu­rity con­cerns. The Chi­nese for­eign min­istry told AFP it was “highly con­cerned” by the ar­rest.

Huawei said in a terse state­ment that it was “aware of the sit­u­a­tion” and “look­ing into it”.

The Pol­ish an­nounce­ment comes weeks af­ter Canada ar­rested Huawei vice pres­i­dent Meng Wanzhou, who is ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing Iran sanc­tions.

Huawei, which was founded by a for­mer Chi­nese army en­gi­neer, is also fac­ing in­creased scru­tiny over its al­leged links to Chi­nese in­tel­li­gence ser­vices.

Coun­tries like the United States, Aus­tralia and Ja­pan have blocked Huawei from build­ing their nextgen­er­a­tion, su­per-fast 5G in­ter­net net­works.

In De­cem­ber, a Czech cy­ber-se­cu­rity agency warned against us­ing the soft­ware and hard­ware of Huawei and fel­low Chi­nese com­pany ZTE, say­ing they posed a threat to state se­cu­rity.

A Pol­ish man “known in the IT sec­tor” was also ar­rested for al­leged es­pi­onage along with the Chi­nese cit­i­zen “who is a busi­ness­man work­ing for an im­por­tant telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions firm,” said Ma­ciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland’s spe­cial ser­vices, quoted by the PAP news agency.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion “had been go­ing on for a while, and had been han­dled with great care.”

EU spokes­woman Maja Ko­ci­jan­cic re­fused to “spec­u­late” when asked Fri­day if there were any con­cerns about Chi­nese re­tal­i­a­tion.

“We are aware of the re­ports and we will be in­deed in touch with the Pol­ish author­i­ties for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion,” she told re­porters.

The men were ar­rested on Tues­day and are sus­pected of hav­ing “worked for Chi­nese ser­vices and to the detri­ment of Poland,” said Pol­ish spe­cial ser­vices spokesman Stanis­law Zaryn.

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