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Huawei sacks Chinese worker accused of spying in Poland
Poland calls for 'joint' EU-Nato stance on Huawei after spying arrest
2019-01-12 18:25:17 UTC
2019-01-13 07:45:40 UTC
(about 13 hours later)
The Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei said it had terminated the employment of a Chinese worker arrested on spying allegations in Poland. Poland’s internal affairs minister has called for the EU and Nato to take a “joint stance” on Huawei after an employee of the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker was arrested on spying charges.
Polish authorities arrested Wang Weijing and a former Polish security official on Friday, a move that could fuel western security concerns about the telecoms equipment maker. Huawei on Saturday sacked the Chinese employee, Wang Weijing, following his arrest and that of a former Polish security official on Friday. The two men could be held for three months.
Huawei said in a statement that its employee’s alleged actions “have no relation to the company”. The company added that the decision was made as the incident has brought the company into disrepute. Poland’s internal affairs minister, Joachim Brudziński, called for the European Union and Nato to work on a joint position over whether to exclude Huawei from their markets.
Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, faces intense scrutiny in the west over its relationship with the Chinese government, and over US-led allegations that its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. Huawei Q&A: what you need to know about the Chinese phone maker
Brudziński said Poland wanted to continue cooperating with China but that a discussion was needed on whether to exclude Huawei from some markets.
“There are concerns about Huawei within Nato as well. It would make most sense to have a joint stance, among EU member states and Nato members,” he told broadcaster RMF FM.
“We want relations with China that are good, intensive and attractive for both sides,” he added.
Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecommunications equipment, is facing intense scrutiny in the west over its relationship with China’s government.
In August, the US president, Donald Trump, signed a bill that barred the US government from using Huawei equipment and is considering an executive order that would also ban US companies from doing so.
In December, Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada at the request of the US, which wants her extradited to face charges that she misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
Seeking to distance itself from the Polish incident, Huawei on Saturday said in a statement it had sacked Wang, whose “alleged actions have no relation to the company”.
“In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labour contract, we have made this decision because the incident has brought Huawei into disrepute,” the statement said.
“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.”
A spokesman for the Polish security services had told Reuters the allegations related to individual actions, and were not linked directly to Huawei Technologies Cos Ltd.
The Guardian view on Huawei: the bigger story | Editorial
A deputy digital affairs minister in Poland said, however, that Warsaw was analysing any involvement by Huawei in building the country’s 5G telecommunications infrastructure, Money.pl portal reported.
A LinkedIn profile for Wang showed he has worked for Huawei’s Polish division since 2011 and previously served as attache to the Chinese general consul in Gdansk from 2006-2011. Wang did not respond to a request for comment via the social media site.
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Poland said the embassy had met with the Polish ministry for foreign affairs over the detention of a Chinese citizen and had requested that the Chinese side is briefed on the matter and consular visits be arranged as soon as possible.
China resolutely opposes “deliberate smearing” and “unwarranted fabrication” with no factual basis, its statement said, without specifying what it was referring to. The embassy will fully protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens, the spokesperson said.
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