arrested last week by Polish authorities on allegations of spying, though that appears unlikely to make the company’s troubles go away.hinese telecoms giant Huawei has fired an employee who was
On Thursday, news broke that the employee, Wang Weijing, had been arrested along with a Polish man, reported to be a former employee of Poland’s security services who now works for mobile provider Orange Polska. The pair are suspected of having “worked for Chinese services and to the detriment of Poland.” They could be initially detained for three months and face 10 years in prison if found guilty.
Huawei has quickly tried to distance itself from Wang, claiming that his alleged actions “have no relation to the company.” A spokesman from Poland’s security services has also told Reuters that the allegations are related to individual actions, not directly related to Huawei.
However, the case certainly hasn’t done much to help Huawei’s global image. Already, a number of countries see the company as a national security threat because of its alleged close connections to Beijing. Arguing that Huawei technology could be used to spy on its citizens, New Zealand, Australia, and the US have allbanned the companyfrom providing equipment for their national 5G networks. UK telecoms company BT has said that it will not work with Huawei in creating its own next-gen wireless network. Norway is reported to be mulling doing the same.
However, not everyone in the West has been scared away from working with Huawei. For instance, last year, Huawei helped Orange Polska with rolling out its next-generation 5G mobile networks in Poland… Now, a senior Polish government official has said that Poland might consider banning public bodies from using Huawei’s products.
Worried about facing Beijing’s wrath alone, following the arrests, Poland’s Internal Affairs Minister, Joachim Brudzinski, has called for the European Union and NATO to work on a joint position over whether or not Huawei should be excluded from their markets.
“There are concerns about Huawei within NATO as well. It would make the most sense to have a joint stance, among EU member states and NATO members,” Brudzinski said. “We want relations with China that are good, intensive, and attractive for both sides.”
It’s not yet clear what this case will mean for Poland-China ties. Recently, relations between China and Canada have become extremely strained following the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the request of authorities in the US where she faces charges of violating Iran sanctions.
Meng’s arrest infuriated China which warned that Canada will face “serious consequences” if she was not quickly released. One week later,two Canadian nationals were detained in China on suspicion of “engaging in activities harming China’s national security,” igniting considerable anxiety among the Canadian and American business and NGO community in China.
Now, it has become Polish expats’ turn to worry.
The Polish embassy’s Weibo account has been bombarded with angry comments with netizens warning Poland to “learn from what happened to Canada” and mocking the country’s “inflated sense of self-importance.” Meanwhile, the nationalistic Global Times tabloid has published an editorial accusing Poland of “becoming a US accomplice” and declaring that Warsaw “must pay for the offense.”
Chinese FM urged #Poland to stop the groundless, unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies, including #Huawei, and to provide a fair and just environment for companies on both sides. Interfering in the normal cooperation among companies will only hurt itself: FM spokesperson pic.twitter.com/8ovbAJV5r9
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 14, 2019