Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

6 2018 shows a Huawei sign outside a store selling mobile phones in Beijing.- Despite being essentially barred from the critical US market Huawei surpassed Apple to become the world's number two smartphone maker in the

A high ranking Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was also arrested by Canadian authorities in December 2018, at the request of the USA authorities.

The detentions come amid the Chinese tech company coming under western scrutiny for being linked to China's government and having equipment which could contain "backdoors" for use by government spies.

Polish state TV said that one of two people arrested was a Chinese man identified as Weijing W., who was a Huawei director in Poland.

Polish authorities arrested and charged a Huawei executive and a former Polish government official with espionage, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. If found guilty, the two face up to 10 years in prison. "We have no comment for the time being", Huawei said in a statement. The US has effectively blocked Huawei from competing in these markets and in telecom equipment for government offices, so they haven't achieved the same toehold here.

The case broke as a number of countries are limiting Huawei's activities in their territory as they fear it would give access to Chinese authorities to critical information and networks.

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

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TVP reports that the Polish national, "Piotr D" was a former high-ranking member of Poland's internal security agency (AWB).

The government has evidence that the two suspects "cooperated with the Chinese services" as they conducted espionage against Poland, according to Stanisław Żaryn, spokesman for the special services branch, in a tweet about the case. The homes of both men, also in Warsaw, were also searched, according to agency spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn.

The Chinese technology giant is facing increasing pressure across the European Union amid growing concerns that Beijing could use Huawei's gear for spying - something the company has always denied. The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

The developments come after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver, Canada in early December 2018 at the request of U.S. law enforcement officials. "We have no comment for the time being".

Orange Poland told The Associated Press on Friday that officials from Poland's Internal Security Agency searched the company's headquarters in Warsaw on Tuesday and that as part of operation "we handed over belongings of one of our employees".

Orange told the AP it did not know if the suspicions against its employee were related to his professional duties and that it was working with the country's security agency. She is out on bail in Canada awaiting extradition proceedings.

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