WARSAW – Poland has arrested a Chinese Huawei employee and a Polish national involved in cyber-cases on alleged espionage, Polish media reported Friday, deepening the controversy sparked by Western critics at the time. against the Chinese manufacturer of telecommunication equipment.
US intelligence agencies claim that Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd is linked to the Chinese government and that its equipment could contain "backdoors" for government spies.
No evidence has been produced publicly and the company has repeatedly denied the allegations. But these criticisms have led several Western countries and businesses to question whether they should allow Huawei's equipment to be used in their telecommunication networks, which has led to tensions in their relations with Beijing.
Polish state-run TVP TVP said the security services had carried out searches in Huawei's local offices and in the offices of the telecommunications company Orange Polska, where it said Polish national works were being used.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that he was "extremely concerned" by the news and invited Poland to treat the case "rightly".
"We are aware of the situation and we are looking at it. We have no comments yet, "Huawei said in a statement.
"Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries in which it operates and requires each employee to comply with the laws and regulations in force in the countries where it operates.
are based, "he added.
Orange Polska said in a statement that the security agency had gathered Tuesday documents about an employee that she did not identify. The company added that it did not know if the investigation was related to the professional work of the employee and that it would continue to cooperate with the authorities.
According to TVP, the security services also raided the offices of the Office of Electronic Communications, the Polish telecommunications regulator, but the regulator denied these claims.
In December, Canadian authorities arrested a Huawei leader, Meng Wanzhou, at the request of the US authorities, in an investigation into alleged violations of US trade sanctions, raising tensions with the United States. China at a time when Washington and Beijing are embarking on a larger trade. war.
The West's security concerns around Huawei and China's ZTE Corp., a company specializing in telecommunication equipment, are focused on the national intelligence law. Approved in 2017, the law stipulates that "Chinese organizations and citizens must, in accordance with the law, support, cooperate and collaborate in national intelligence activities".
This has raised fears that the Chinese government is asking Huawei to incorporate "back doors" to its equipment allowing access to Beijing for the purpose of espionage or sabotage.
Some experts also believe that Chinese intelligence could develop an ability to subvert Huawei's hardware.
Norway announced on Wednesday that it plans to partner with other Western countries to prevent Huawei from building part of its new 5G telecommunications network.
"The Chinese national is a businessman who works in a large electronics company … the Pole is a person known in circles related to cyber business," said Maciej Wasik, Deputy Director of Polish Special Services, at the PAP news agency.
The arrested pair will be held for three months, PAP reported, quoting the spokesman of the chief of Polish special services.
TVP stated that the Polish national was a former agent of the internal security agency. The agency did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.