Huawei is facing another headache, this time in Poland, where one of its executives has been arrested on espionage charges.
The man, identified by the Wall Street Journal as Weijing Wang (Stanislaw Wang in Poland) is Huawei’s sales director in the region. Another, unidentified man who previously worked for Poland’s Internal Security Agency was also arrested. Wang is a Chinese official; the other man is a Polish national. Both are accused of spying for the Chinese government.
Wang’s home, as well as Huawei’s local office, was searched this week, and officials seized documents and electronic information, the Journal says. They also searched the offices of French telecom provider Orange, where the former security official used to work.
Both men have pleaded not guilty; they face up to 10 years in prison.
In a statement to Reuters, Huawei said it “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.”
This is the latest in a line of scandals for Huawei. In December 2018, Huawei’s CFO was arrested by Canadian police for allegedly violating sanctions by selling equipment to Iran.
In the US, the Commerce Department last year banned US companies from selling components to ZTE for seven years. The Defense Authorization Act of 2019, signed in August, also leaves Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE, out in the cold when it comes to supplying government agencies or any company working for them.
Those security concerns mean few US carriers are willing to take a chance on Huawei, so devices like the Mate 20 Pro are almost impossible to purchase here.
Huawei has also faced troubles in Europe, when UK telecommunications company BT said it will strip the Chinese company’s networking technology out of the core of its networks, instead only using it for “benign” parts of the infrastructure when developing 5G communications.
And New Zealand’s security services stopped Huawei from supplying mobile network technology on national security grounds, saying there is a “significant network security risk” when examining the equipment.