Poland arrests Chinese businessman suspected of spying

A Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei was arrested in Poland and charged with espionage on behalf of China

US intelligence agencies allege Huawei Technologies Cos Ltd [HWT.UL] is linked to China's government and that its equipment could contain "backdoors" for use by government spies.

Some European governments and telecom companies are following the US lead in questioning whether using Huawei for vital infrastructure for mobile networks could leave them exposed to snooping by the Chinese government.

No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the claims.

Polish security services have arrested a Chinese national and Polish national for spying, according to local press.

"We must now verify the activities aimed against the country and this case is far from closed", Mr Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesman for Poland's secret services chief, told TVPInfo.

TVP said the security services also searched the offices of Poland's telecoms regulator, the Office of Electronic Communications, but the regulator denied this.

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The firm's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada in December over allegations of breaking of United States sanctions on Iran. Approved in 2017, the law states that Chinese "organisations and citizens shall, in accordance with the law, support, cooperate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work".

National media reported that two people had been arrested, one of whom is reported to be a sales director at the Chinese hardware supplier. 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.

"The Chinese individual is a businessman working for an important telecommunications firm", Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special services, said.

The development comes as a US dispute with China over a ban on Huawei is spilling over to Europe, the company's biggest foreign market, where some countries are also starting to shun its network systems over data security concerns.

The agency did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for a response to the reports.

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