China seeks visit with Huawei worker arrested in Poland

Geraldine Edwards
January 14, 2019

A LinkedIn profile for a man named Stanislaw Wang appears to match details described by Polish television. From 2006, he worked at the Chinese consulate in Gdansk before starting work at Huawei in 2011 and taking over responsibility for the company's public relations in Poland.

According to reports, two men were taken into custody Tuesday.

Poland's counterintelligence agency seized documents from the man's office and home.

China is highly concerned over the issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' press office said in a faxed response to questions.

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According to media outlet TVP, the other was a Polish national who used to work at the country's internal security agency (Agencja Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego, ABW) and more recently Orange.

Meng's arrest sparked a surge of patriotism in China with companies encouraging staff to buy Huawei smartphones - and several companies even offering employees subsidies to buy phones from the home-grown company. If convicted, the pair could face up to 10 years imprisonment.

The Czech cybersecurity agency said that Chinese laws "force private companies with their headquarters in China to cooperate with intelligence services", which could make them "a threat" if involved with a country's key technology.

In an emailed statement sent earlier today, a Huawei spokesperson told us: "Huawei is aware of the situation, and we are looking into it".

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Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the company's founder, was detained in Canada last month on a U.S. extradition bid.

Australia and New Zealand banned Huawei equipment from the planned 5G networks of carriers in the countries, and the head of British spy agency MI6 said last month the government needs to decide whether to ban the company. Huawei, the world's biggest producer of telecom equipment, in a statement on Saturday, distanced itself from the incident and terminated the employment of the executive. Various countries, including the Britain, France, Germany, Norway, have publicly raised concerns about using Huawei equipment for next-generation mobile networks.

This refusal to use Huawei's products come from the belief that doing so would pose "significant risks to national security" and potentially provide sensitive information back to Beijing through "backdoors" installed in Huawei products.

Its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 on request from the United States, which has accused her of fraud related to violations of Iran sanctions.

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In what was widely seen as retaliation by Beijing, two Canadians - a former diplomat and a business consultant - were detained in China on the grounds of national security.

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