Poland arrests Chinese businessman suspected of spying

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The two employees arrested include a Chinese national and a Polish national, both of whom worked at Huawei in Poland.

The arrests are the latest setback for the Chinese technology company which is embroiled in a dispute with the USA over a ban on their devices, as well as a diplomatic row with Canada over the arrest of their chief financial officer.

Polish media outlets said the Polish suspect is thought to be a former agent for Poland's ABW counter-intelligence service who is now working as a cyber-security consultant for the Polish branch of French mobile phone provider Orange.

The Chinese man was identified as Weijing W. and reportedly worked as a director in Poland at Huawei.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special service, said the two arrested men "carried out espionage activities against Poland" and the operation to arrest them was underway for a long time. If convicted, the pair could face up to 10 years imprisonment. Huawei and Orange could not immediately be reached for comment.

But the criticism has led several Western countries and companies to look into whether they should allow Huawei's equipment to be used in their telecoms networks, straining relations with Beijing.

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"We have no comment for the time being".

It comes after Canadian officials arrested a top Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in December at the behest of US authorities as part of an investigation into alleged violations of USA trade sanctions. Poland's TVPInfo broke the news earlier today (via Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal) amid increasing tensions between the USA and China.

A federal court has ruled the men can be held for three months as the case is investigated further.

That allegation has not been proven publicly and the company denies any link to China's government.

A Huawei representative said the company was looking into the matter.

In December, a Czech cyber-security agency warned against using the software and hardware of Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE, saying they posed a threat to state security.

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