Huawei employee arrested in Poland over spying allegations – CNBC

Poland’s counterintelligence agency has arrested an employee of Chinese tech giant Huawei over spying allegations.

According to Polish TV broadcaster Telewizja Polska (TVP), Huawei’s sales director and an ex-security agent were arrested on Tuesday by officers of the country’s Internal Security Agency, charged with espionage.

The Huawei employee is reportedly a Chinese national, while the former security agent is said to be a Polish national who recently worked for the Polish subsidiary of French telecommunications firm Orange. According to TVP, both will be kept in detention for at least three months.

Huawei and Orange’s offices were searched and documents seized by the Internal Security Agency, the broadcaster reported.

A spokesperson for Huawei said the company, which overtook Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer last year, is aware of the situation.

“Huawei is aware of the situation, and we are looking into it,” the spokesperson said.” “We have no comment for the time being.”

The spokesperson added: “Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based.”

Orange and Poland’s Internal Security Agency were not immediately available for comment.

The news is likely to be another headache for Huawei, which has become enshrouded in controversy following the arrest of its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou.

Meng, the daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei, was detained in Canada on Dec. 1. The U.S. is trying to have her extradited to stand trial on allegations of violating U.S. sanctions.

She was released on a 10 million Canadian dollars ($7.6 million) bail on Dec. 11 and remains in Vancouver, where she must wear an ankle monitor and comply with a 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

Canada said earlier this month that 13 of its citizens had been detained in China following Meng’s arrest, with at least eight of those citizens having since been released.

U.S. allies including the U.K., Australia and New Zealand have also raised the alarm over the firm, amid concerns that it may be a threat to national security.

Huawei has been blocked from participating in the 5G networks of Australia and New Zealand on the back of such fears. 5G refers to the next generation of mobile networks, and is a key area of focus for businesses working in the telecommunications space.