'Chinese, Polish nationals' arrested in Poland for 'spying'

'Chinese, Polish nationals' arrested in Poland for 'spying'

Huawei and Orange could not immediately be reached for comment.

In December, Canadian authorities arrested a top Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, at the behest of USA authorities as part of an investigation into alleged violations of US trade sanctions, raising tensions with China at a time when Washington and Beijing are engaged in a broader trade war.

Poland said Friday it had arrested a Chinese telecoms executive suspected of spying for China, with local media identifying him as a Huawei director.

"ABW (Internal Security Agency) officials conducted actions, as a result of which, we handed over belongings of one of our employees", Orange Polska said in a statement.

No evidence has publically been produced over Huawei using such equipment.

Huawei said in a statement from its Chinese headquarters that they are looking into the situation in Poland. Polish security agents also searched the Warsaw offices of Huawei and Orange, Poland's leading communications provider, where the former Polish spy recently worked, seizing documents and electronic data.

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The company added, "we have no knowledge if there is any relation of these actions to his professional duties".

An official at the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw said China attaches "great importance to the detention" of the Chinese citizen in Poland and that Chinese envoys had met with Polish Foreign Ministry officials on the matter and urged them to "arrange a consular visit as soon as possible". Some experts also see a risk that Chinese intelligence may develop an ability to subvert Huawei's equipment.

Some European countries have followed the US and began looking into whether using Huawei's technology could expose the country to China.

The Polish suspect in the case, Piotr D., was an officer in the Internal Security Agency until 2011, according to TVP Info, which says he was an adviser to the head of the special service who also had expertise about the network Poland's government uses to share sensitive information.

"The Chinese national is a businessman working in a major electronics company. the Pole is a person known in circles associated with cyber business", Maciej Wasik, the deputy head of Poland's special services, told PAP.

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