Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

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Poland said Friday it had arrested a Chinese telecoms executive suspected of spying for China, with local media identifying him as a Huawei director. Huawei is facing increased spying accusations from the USA and its allies.

Polish authorities have reportedly arrested Huawei's sales director and an ex-security agency staffer on allegations of spying. Both are accused of espionage. Huawei and Orange could not immediately be reached for comment.

This has sparked fears Huawei could be asked by the Chinese government to incorporate "backdoors" into their equipment that would allow Beijing access, for spying or sabotage purposes.

In December, a Czech cyber-security agency warned against using the software and hardware of Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE, saying they posed a threat to state security.

Huawei has been blocked in the USA since 2012, when a House Intelligence Committee report found it was a security risk and recommended that the government and private companies stop buying its network equipment.

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

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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.

"We are aware of the situation, and we are looking into it".

Orange Polska spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski said "ABW officials had carried out items belonging to one of our employees on Tuesday".

"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", it added.

Wasik said that the Chinese suspect was a businessman working for a major electronics corporation and that the Pole was "known in circles associated with cyber-business affairs".

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