The BBC reported that the Polish Internal Security Agency ABW arrested a Chinese senior executive of China Telecom giant Huawei and a Polish engineer. They were accused of conducting espionage for Chinese intelligence. Polish public television station TVP reported that the Polish security department searched Huawei’s office in Poland on Friday January 11. The Polish public television station TVP mentioned in the report that the arrested Chinese executives were the sales managers of Huawei in the Polish branch, and the arrested Polish engineer Piotr D was a senior official who worked for the National Security Agency.
In addition to searching the Huawei office, the Polish National Security Agency also searched the office of another telecommunications operator, Orange, the latest employer of the arrested Polish engineer.
According to the Polish public television station, Wang Weijing graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University with a Polish major. He worked at the Chinese Consulate in Gdansk since 2006. Huaweie hired him in 2011 and he was sent to Poland to work in the public relations department of Huawei in Poland. In 2017, Wang became the sales manager of Huawei Poland, responsible for selling Huawei products to the public sector.
The Chinese official media reprinted the response of the Chinese Foreign Ministry saying that China is highly concerned that Wang Weijing was detained by the Polish Internal Security Bureau. The Chinese Embassy in Poland had already met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and asked Poland for an update about the case. However on January 12 Huawei fired Wang Weijing. In its statement, Huawei noted that Wang Weijing was arrested for “personal reasons” for allegedly violating Polish laws and “has adversely affected Huawei’s global reputation.” Huawei decided to terminate its employment relationship with Wang Weijing immediately.
At the same time, the Polish government said they are considering banning Huawei’s operation in the Polish market. Karol Okonski, head of network security at the Polish government, said they will make decisions in the coming weeks. He also said that any “decision on Huawei’s future in Poland” will be consistent with the EU and NATO, because Poland is a member of the EU and of NATO.
In addition, on the same day that Polish media reported the arrest of Wang Weijing, Scott Bradley, senior vice president of public affairs at Huawei Canada, announced his resignation. Earlier, the president of Huawei Canada said that the company “has no obligation to abide by Chinese laws” and (will) “never spy for the Chinese government.”
The arrest in Poland came after the arrest of Huawei’s vice chairman and chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou who was arrested in Canada on December 1, 2018. Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei’s founder, was detained by the Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S.. The U.S. extradited Meng because of a suspected violation of Washington’s trade sanctions against Iran. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the incident seriously violated human rights and lodged solemn representations to the U.S. and to Canada.
Source: BBC Chinese, January 13, 2019