Chinese businessman arrested in Poland for spying

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Poland has arrested a director at the Chinese tech giant Huawei and one of its own former cybersecurity experts and charged them with spying for China, authorities said Friday.

Last year, Orange Polska worked with Huawei to roll out next-generation 5G mobile networks in Poland.

Two people were arrested in Poland over espionage charges, according to a report from a Polish news broadcaster.

Chinese authorities have been critical of how last month's arrest of Meng, Huawei's CFO, was handled.

The West's security concerns surrounding Huawei, and fellow Chinese telecoms equipment firm ZTE Corp, center around China's National Intelligence Law.

Huawei said in a statement from its Chinese headquarters that they are looking into the situation in Poland.

A Chinese businessman and a Pole have been arrested by Poland's Internal Security Agency on suspicion of espionage, an official said Friday.

He said no further details would be released about the case because it is classified and the investigation is ongoing.

Officers of Poland's counterintelligence agency also searched the local Huawei office as well as the homes of both suspects. Also going by the Polish first name Stanislaw, the Chinese man had previously worked at the Chinese consulate.

A conviction could come with a 10-year prison sentence.

The Chinese ministry of foreign affairs said it was "greatly concerned" and that it expects Poland to "justly" manage the case.

TVP reports that the Polish national, "Piotr D" was a former high-ranking member of Poland's internal security agency (AWB). The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

Australia and New Zealand have also enacted similar bans, leaving Canada the only country in the "Five Eyes" intelligence network not to take steps against the Chinese firm.

However, Polish authorities told Reuters the spying allegations are related to the actions of the individual Huawei employee, and not necessarily linked directly to the company itself.

In December, Canadian authorities arrested a top Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, at the behest of US authorities as part of an investigation into alleged violations of USA trade sanctions, raising tensions with China at a time when Washington and Beijing are engaged in a broader trade war. The company's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was detained in Canada in December and faces charges that she violated USA trade sanctions.

Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company founder, as she transited through the country. As well as producing smartphones, the Chinese corporation develops mobile network infrastructure used in many countries, which some nations see as a potential security risk.

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