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Huawei sacks employee arrested in Poland on spying charges

Reuters  |  HONG KONG/WARSAW 

By James and Anna Koper

HONG KONG/(Reuters) - Chinese maker Huawei said on Saturday it had sacked an employee arrested in on spying charges in a case that could intensify Western security concerns about the company.

Poland's internal affairs minister, Joachim Brudzinski, called for the and NATO to work on a joint position over whether to exclude Huawei from their markets following the arrest of the Chinese employee and a former Polish on Friday.

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

Huawei, the world's biggest of telecommunications equipment, faces intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with and U.S.-led allegations that its devices could be used by 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.

In August, U.S. signed a bill that barred the from using Huawei equipment and is considering an order that would also ban U.S. companies from doing so.

Brudzinski said wanted to continue cooperating with but that a discussion was needed on whether to exclude Huawei from some 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

"We want relations with that are good, intensive and attractive for both sides," he added.

HUAWEI DISTANCES ITSELF FROM ARRESTS

Seeking to distance itself from the incident, Huawei said in a statement it had sacked Wang Weijing, whose "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.

"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.

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

A for the Polish had told the allegations related to individual actions, and were not linked directly to Cos Ltd.

A in said, however, that was analysing any involvement by Huawei in building the country's 5G telecommunications infrastructure, Money.pl portal reported.

Any decision by Western governments over whether to exclude Huawei from their markets would have to consider the possible impact on the speed and cost of 5G development, analysts say.

"My best-case outcome is that uses this window of opportunity and figures out how to have a minimal risk for the best network possible," said Jan-Peter Kleinhans, an IT security expert at Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, a Berlin-based think-tank.

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

has expressed concern over the case and is urging Poland to handle the case "justly."

In a statement on Saturday, a for the said the embassy had met with the over the detention of a Chinese citizen and had requested that the Chinese side is briefed on the matter and consular visits be arranged as soon as possible.

resolutely opposes "deliberate smearing" and "unwarranted fabrication" with no factual basis, the statement added, without specifying what it was referring to.

The embassy will fully protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens, the said.

(Additional reporting by in BERLIN, and Tom Daly and in BEIJING; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, and Helen Popper)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 13 2019. 10:58 IST
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