Poland Arrests 2, Including Huawei Employee, Accused of Spying for China

The Polish authorities have arrested a Chinese employee of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, as well as a Polish national, as well as charged them with spying for Beijing, officials said on Friday, amid a push by the United States as well as its allies to restrict the use of Chinese technology based on espionage fears.

The Huawei employee will be head of the company’s sales in Poland, officials said; the various other person arrested works for the French telecommunications company Orange. Both men pleaded not guilty as well as have refused to answer questions, the state television broadcaster, TYP, reported.

Western intelligence agencies have repeatedly raised concerns of which products made by Huawei as well as various other Chinese companies, particularly cellphones as well as telecommunications equipment, have been designed to enable spying by Chinese intelligence.

Huawei has been a leading contender to design the next-generation mobile networks in Europe as well as various other parts of the planet, although its expansion plans have repeatedly been hampered by Western security concerns.

Polish law enforcement officers raided the homes as well as offices of the two suspects on Tuesday. The authorities then had to wait two days to obtain arrest warrants, a standard delay in Poland.

A Huawei spokesman said the company had no comment on the case, although insisted of which the company “complies with all applicable laws as well as regulations inside countries where the item operates.” Orange also declined to comment on the case, although confirmed of which its office had been raided as well as the suspect’s belongings seized.

the item will be not the very first time in recent months a Huawei employee has been arrested abroad. Meng Wanzhou, the company’s chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada last month at the request of the United States, where she had been charged with fraud designed to violate American sanctions on Iran. Ms. Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, was freed on bail, pending a decision on whether to extradite her.

A 2012 report through United States lawmakers said of which Huawei as well as another company, ZTE, were effectively arms of the Chinese government whose equipment was used for spying. Security firms have reported finding software installed on Chinese-made phones of which sends users’ personal data to China.

Last year, United States intelligence agencies told a Senate panel of which Americans should not be using Chinese telecommunications products, as well as some major American retailers have stopped selling them. The Federal Communications Commission has said the item will bar American telecommunications businesses through using equipment through any company deemed to pose a national security risk — a move aimed primarily at Huawei as well as ZTE of which will effectively shut them out of creating the next-generation mobile network known as 5G.

Australia, Britain, the Czech Republic, Japan as well as completely new Zealand have also taken steps to limit the use of Huawei equipment as well as restrict the company’s role in 5G development. The arrests as well as raids in Poland opened a completely new front inside struggle to control Europe’s digital future.

The Polish government identified the Huawei employee only as Weijing W. According to Polish television, Weijing W. graduated through Beijing Foreign Studies University that has a degree in Polish studies as well as once worked at the Chinese Consulate in Gdansk, Poland. He began working for Huawei in 2011.

The Polish suspect was identified as Piotr D., a former agent of Poland’s internal security service. As an agent, he had “access to key information,” including the “internal government system of which allows to communicate secret information to the most important people inside country,” Maciej Wasik, the deputy head of Poland’s special services, told the Polish Press Agency.

Officials did not offer details on the alleged criminal activity.

The suspects will be held for three months while the authorities carry out their investigation, Mr. Wasik said.