Poland arrests Huawei employee as spy, while Malta pushes forward with deal

US intelligence agencies allege Huawei Technologies Cos Ltd is linked to China's government

Polish public TV channel TVP also said security services had searched the local offices of Huawei Technologies Cos Ltd, as well as the Polish offices of telecoms firm Orange.

Ties between the United States and China have become increasingly strained since Canadian authorities arrested a Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in December at the request of U.S. authorities.

USA intelligence agencies allege Huawei is linked to China's government and that its equipment could contain "backdoors" for use by government spies.

Poland has arrested a Chinese businessman working for the Huawei technology company on suspicion of espionage, authorities in Warsaw said today.

Both men, says the Polish report, are charged with helping Chinese authorities to the detriment of Poland's national security.

The pair are set to remain in custody for at least three months and apparently face up to ten years in prison.

Huawei, in turn, said in a statement that it is "aware of the situation" and that it has "no comment for the time being".

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He said "both carried out espionage activities against Poland", but did not identify them.

People passing by a vehicle park sign of the Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

In addition to this, Huawei have come under fire from authorities in Norway, Germany, the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, with several countries outright banning the use of their devices or equipment used in 5G mobile networks. The other detained person is a former high-rank official at Poland's internal security agency who worked at mobile phone operator Orange Polska SA, the broadcaster said.

Europe should be "worried" about Huawei and other Chinese companies, given the mandatory cooperation they have to maintain with Chinese intelligence services, European Commission Vice-President for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said on Friday (7 December).

Zaryn identified the Chinese businessman as Weijing W and the Polish suspect as Piotr D. Huawei and Orange could not immediately be reached for comment. The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

Nonetheless, intelligence bods recommended banning the use of the kit, and official blocks are in place for state-funded projects in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

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 company added it did not know if the investigation was linked to the employee's professional work, and that it would continue to cooperate with the authorities. Meng was released on bail four weeks ago and is living under restrictions in her million-dollar Vancouver home.

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