cloudy.png
Tuesday December 10th, 2019 3:02PM

Huawei fires sales manager who Poland charged with spying

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — The Chinese tech company Huawei on Saturday announced it has fired a sales director who was arrested in Poland and charged with spying for China, saying he has brought the firm's reputation "into disrepute."

The company said it has "decided to terminate the employment of Mr. Wang Weijing, who was arrested on suspicion of breaking Polish law."

Polish authorities said Friday they have arrested Wang, a Chinese citizen and former diplomat, along with a Polish cybersecurity expert who had held several top government cybersecurity jobs and also worked at the telecom company Orange.

Huawei said Wang's actions "have no relation to the company" and that he was fired because "the incident in question has brought Huawei into disrepute."

The arrest rekindled tensions between China and the West over cybersecurity concerns surrounding Huawei. It's the world's biggest maker of telecommunications equipment but has been banned in the U.S. since 2012 over fears it's a security risk.

Earlier this week, Polish security agents searched the Warsaw offices of Huawei and Orange, Poland's leading communications provider, seizing documents and electronic data. The homes of both men, also in Warsaw, were also searched, according to Internal Security Agency spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn.

Huawei had ambitious plans in Europe to roll out next-generation "5G" mobile networks. But some European governments and telecom companies are following the U.S. lead in questioning whether using Huawei for vital infrastructure for mobile networks could leave them exposed to snooping by the Chinese government.

"One thing is clear: this is another nail in the coffin of Huawei's European ambitions," said Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute, a think tank.

Poland is Huawei's headquarters for Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic region.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's Special Services agency, said the operation that resulted in the arrests had been underway for a long time. He said "both carried out espionage activities against Poland."

Zaryn told The Associated Press that prosecutors have charged the two men with espionage, but agents are continuing to collect evidence and interview witnesses. Further indictments are expected, he said.

Polish state television TVP reported that the men have proclaimed their innocence, but Zaryn could not confirm that. If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison each.

TVP identified the arrested Chinese man as Weijing W., saying he was a sales director in Poland at Huawei. It said he also went by the Polish first name of Stanislaw and had previously worked at the Chinese consulate in Gdansk.

A LinkedIn profile for a man named Stanislaw Wang appears to match details described by Polish television.

Wang's resume said he worked at China's General Consulate in Gdansk from 2006-2011 and at Huawei Enterprise Poland since 2011, where he was first director of public affairs and since 2017 the "sales director of public sector." The resume said he received a bachelor's degree in 2004 from the Beijing University of Foreign Studies.

State TV identified the Polish man as Piotr D., and said he was a high-ranking employee at the Internal Security Agency, where he served as deputy director in the department of information security, until 2011.

The Polish state news agency, PAP, said the man had also held top cybersecurity positions at the Interior Ministry and the Office of Electronic Communications, a regulatory body. It said, while at the Internal Security Agency, he was involved in building a mobile communications system for top Polish officials, and he was fired in 2011 amid a corruption scandal.

Geopolitical tensions over Huawei have intensified since Canada arrested a top executive last month at the request of U.S. authorities. Last year Australia, New Zealand and Japan instituted their own bans against using Huawei.

An official at the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw said Chinese envoys had urged Polish Foreign Ministry officials to arrange a consular visit with Wang "as soon as possible."

Orange Poland told the AP on Friday it was cooperating with Polish security services in the case and had "handed over belongings of one of our employees" in Tuesday's search of its offices. Orange told the AP it did not know if the suspicions against its employee were related to his work at Orange or his previous jobs.

Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested Dec. 1 in Canada in connection with U.S. accusations that the company violated restrictions on sales of American technology to Iran.

The United States wants Meng extradited to face charges that she misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran. She is out on bail in Canada awaiting extradition proceedings.

On Dec. 10, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on vague national security allegations in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest.

___

Gera reported from Warsaw.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Technology News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Huawei fires sales manager who Poland charged with spying
Chinese tech company Huawei says it has fired a sales director who was arrested in Poland and charged with spying for China
11:33AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Technology brings images of Holocaust survivors to life
A Dallas man is the latest Holocaust survivor to have his story recorded in such a way that generations to come will be able to ask his image questions
11:23AM ( 22 minutes ago )
The Latest: Canada says UN found Saudi woman faced danger
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland says the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees found that a Saudi woman fleeing alleged family abuse was in a dangerous situation and Canada was glad is they were able to act quickly to offer her refuge
11:16AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Huawei fires director who Poland charged with spying
Chinese tech company Huawei says it has fired an employee who was arrested in Poland and charged with spying for China
10:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Selective shutdown? Trump tries to blunt impact, takes heat
Selective reopening of government offices to ease the pain for some citizens shows willingness to cut corners and wade into dubious territory, experts say
10:16AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hundreds inspired by yellow vest movement rally in London
Hundreds of protesters inspired by the so-called yellow vest movement are rallying in London, drawing attention to austerity programs that have hit the poor hard
9:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Poland: Huawei exec, Polish security expert spied for China
Poland has arrested a Chinese businessman who was a director at tech firm Huawei and a former Polish cybersecurity expert for allegedly spying on Poland for China
8:37PM ( 15 hours ago )
SpaceX launches 10 more Iridium Communications satellites
A SpaceX rocket has delivered 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit, completing a two-year campaign by Iridium Communications to replace its original fleet with a new generation of mobile communication technology and added global aircraft tracking capability
5:56PM ( 17 hours ago )
Trump says changes coming in US handling of high-tech visas
President Donald Trump says changes are coming in the way that the U.S. handles H1-B visas, which allow American companies to bring high-tech and other skilled workers into the U.S. from abroad
3:50PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Technology News
Technology brings images of Holocaust survivors to life
A Dallas man is the latest Holocaust survivor to have his story recorded in such a way that generations to come will be able to ask his image questions
11:23AM ( 22 minutes ago )
The Latest: Canada says UN found Saudi woman faced danger
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland says the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees found that a Saudi woman fleeing alleged family abuse was in a dangerous situation and Canada was glad is they were able to act quickly to offer her refuge
11:16AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Bulgaria's oldest city honored as European culture capital
Plovdiv, the oldest city in Bulgaria, has been officially inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture for 2019
11:09AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Huawei fires employee arrested in Poland on spy charges
Huawei fires employee arrested in Poland on spy charges
11:06AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Pompeo says US diplomats' morale 'good' despite shutdown
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says American diplomats are upbeat despite the government shutdown that has left many of them working without pay.
11:05AM ( 40 minutes ago )