Huawei fires employee arrested in Poland on spying charges | News | DW | 12.01.2019
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Huawei fires employee arrested in Poland on spying charges

The Chinese telecom giant has sacked a worker accused by Warsaw of spying, saying he has hurt the company's reputation. Huawei is embroiled in a global scandal over whether its technology is being used for espionage.

Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei on Saturday said it had dismissed a Chinese worker arrested in Poland on allegations of spying for Beijing.

Wang Weijing was detained along with a former Polish security official.

Poland's Special Services agency accused both men of working for "Chinese services and to the detriment of Poland."

The Chinese tech giant said Wang had been arrested for "personal reasons," and his alleged actions "have no relation to the company."

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Reputation damaged

In a statement published by the pro-government Global Times, Huawei said the incident had brought the company into disrepute.

Wang worked as a sales director of Huawei for just over a year; he had previously been one of the firm's public relations directors.

Polish public broadcaster TVP said the Polish suspect, identified only as Piotr D, was a former high-ranking officer in the Internal Security Agency.

The arrests are the latest embarrassment for the world's biggest telecoms equipment maker, following the detention in Canada last month of the firm's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou — accused by the US of violating Iranian sanctions.

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In what was widely seen as retaliation by Beijing, two Canadians — a former diplomat and a business consultant — were detained in China on the grounds of national security.

Huawei has for months been publicly criticized and blacklisted by Western countries, accused of acting as a proxy for China's security apparatus.

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Concerns are rising over whether its technology, especially around the rollout of 5G or the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications, could be used by Beijing for espionage purposes.

No evidence has been made public, and the firm has repeatedly denied the accusations.

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Even so, the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand have announced plans to remove Huawei equipment from their cellular networks, leaving Canada as the only country in the "Five Eyes" intelligence network not to take steps against the Chinese firm.

Poland's internal affairs minister, Joachim Brudzinski, on Friday called on the European Union and NATO to agree on a joint position over whether to exclude Huawei from their markets.

"There are concerns about Huawei within NATO as well. It would make the most sense to have a joint stance, among EU member states and NATO members," he told Polish private broadcaster RMF FM.

"We want relations with China that are good, intensive and attractive for both sides."

mm/sms (AFP, Reuters)

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