Huawei sacks employee arrested in Poland on spying charges

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei said on Saturday it had sacked a Chinese employee who was arrested on spying charges in Poland, as the company sought to distance itself from the incident.

Polish authorities detained Wang Weijing and a former Polish security official on Friday over the allegations, which could intensify Western security concerns about Huawei and its relations with the Chinese government.

Huawei said in a statement that Wang’s “alleged actions have no relation to the company”.

“In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident has brought Huawei into disrepute,” the statement said.

A Polish security services spokesman had told Reuters earlier the allegations were related to individual actions, and were not linked directly to the Chinese company.

The two men have heard the charges and could be held for three months.

A Huawei spokesman, Joe Kelly, declined to give any further details.

Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecommunications equipment, faces intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with Beijing and U.S.-led allegations that its equipment could be used by China for spying.

No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the accusations, but several Western countries have restricted Huawei’s access to their markets.

“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,” the company’s statement added.

In Warsaw, Poland’s internal affairs minister, Joachim Brudzinski, said the European Union and NATO should work on a joint position on whether to exclude Huawei from their markets.

“There are concerns about Huawei within NATO as well. It would make most sense to have a joint stance, among EU member states and NATO members,” he told private broadcaster RMF FM. “We want relations with China that are good, intensive and attractive for both sides.”

A LinkedIn profile for Wang showed he has worked for Huawei’s Polish division since 2011 and previously served as attache to the Chinese General Consul in Gdansk from 2006-2011. Wang did not immediately respond to a request for comment via the social media site.

China’s Foreign Ministry has expressed concern over the case and is urging Poland to handle the case “justly.”