January 19, 2019
Latest News

Chinese Huawei executive is charged with espionage in Poland

 A view shows a Huawei logo on a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Dec. 12, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/WU HONG

A view shows a Huawei logo on a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Dec. 12, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/WU HONG

Madrid, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- Polish authorities detained and charged the local sales director of Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese national, for conducting high-level espionage on behalf of China, amid widening global scrutiny by Washington and its allies of the technology giant, according to a report from the Dow Jones Newswires made available to EFE Friday.

The arrest is another bombshell for Huawei, following the early December detention of the company's chief financial officer in Canada, at the United States' request, on charges related to Iranian sanctions. Unlike those allegations, the nature of the charges in Poland speak directly to suspicions by Washington and other Western governments that Huawei could be used by Beijing as a global spying tool.

For years, Washington has labeled Huawei a national security threat, saying it could be forced by China to use its knowledge of the telecommunications equipment it sells around the world to tap into, or disable, foreign communications networks. Huawei has denied that forcefully through the years. Part of its defense has been that it hadn't been implicated in overseas spying allegations.

Officers of Poland's counterintelligence agency this week searched the local Huawei office, leaving with documents and electronic data, as well as the home of the Chinese national, Poland's state-owned broadcaster reported Friday. The individual wasn't named, but was identified as a graduate of one of China's top intelligence schools, as well as a former employee of the Chinese consulate in the port city of Gdansk.

As part of the same investigation, Poland's Internal Security Agency also detained one of its own former officials, a Polish citizen who was deputy head of the agency's IT security department. That person, who wasn't publicly identified, had knowledge of the inner workings of the Polish government's encrypted communications network, which is used by its top officeholders, the broadcaster said.

Both men have been charged with espionage, the broadcaster reported, a crime that carries up to 10 years' imprisonment. They have pleaded not guilty.

"Huawei is aware of the situation, and we are looking into it," a spokesman for the company said. Poland's counterintelligence agency couldn't be reached for comment.

Last month, Canadian authorities, at the behest of US officials, arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on charges she lied to banks about Huawei's business in Iran. Meng denies the charges.

In 2012, a US congressional report labeled Huawei a national security threat, a finding Huawei said was politically motivated. Huawei has long denied that it is a spying threat, saying that it is owned by its employees and operates independently of Beijing.

The congressional report all but shut the telecom-gear and smartphone maker out of the US market. Still, it flourished overseas, quickly eclipsing Western rivals like Nokia Corp. and Ericsson AB as the world's biggest seller of telecom gear – equipment like cell towers and switches that enable mobile networks.

For much of last year, American officials redoubled efforts to limit sales of Huawei gear in the US. Some small American carriers, particularly rural ones, use the gear, partly because it is cheap.

Washington also started more recently to press allies aggressively to avoid using Huawei gear. Australia has also been out front raising public concern about Huawei equipment. A number of countries, including Australia, the UK, Germany, New Zealand and Japan have agreed to review their telecom-gear supply chain, or have specifically restricted the sale of Chinese equipment, in the wake of the new scrutiny.

The push from Washington comes as many carriers around the world are starting to roll out 5G, the latest generation of mobile-telecom technology that promises faster connections and is envisioned to help enable internet connections for everything from factories to toothbrushes, the Dow Jones report added.

Poland has been Huawei's top market in Central and Eastern Europe, and its ambitions to roll out 5G equipment in the region have gone farther in Poland than most places outside China. Last year, the government named the company an official partner of its 5G strategy.

In September, Huawei and French telecom company Orange SA's local unit began installing the first test antennas of a 5G network the two companies hoped to launch together. In November, the prime minister's office said Huawei would build a science-and-technology center in the capital. It already runs a research-and-development center there.

Counterintelligence agencies elsewhere in the region, however, have been issuing unusually public warnings against Huawei for years, part of broader international scrutiny on cyber vulnerabilities in what is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's eastern flank, a front line for cyberattacks against US allies.

As far back as 2013, the Czech Security Information Service, a domestic security agency, suggested excluding Huawei from public tenders and said the company might be installing backdoors on its equipment to allow outsiders to log into government computers from elsewhere.

By Drew Hinshaw and Dan Strumpf

News history
German Chancellor Merkel's Bavarian allies elect new leader

Berlin, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- The German chancellor's regional allies in Bavaria on Saturday elected a new leader in a move that center-right forces in the...

Thousands attend in funeral for slain Gdansk mayor

Rescue operation for Spanish toddler stuck down borehole enters 6th day

Totalán (Spain), Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Saturday marked six days since a two-year-old boy fell down a deep and narrow borehole in the southern Spanish...

Afghan Taliban rejects reports of Islamabad talks with US

Kabul, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- The Taliban on Saturday dismissed reports in the Pakistani media of possible talks with the United States in Islamabad.

At least 21 killed, 71 injured in pipeline explosion in Mexico

Mexico City, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- At least 21 were killed and 71 were injured after a Pemex pipeline burst in Hidalgo, Mexico, official sources said on...

Trump, Pence cheer on anti-abortion march

Washington, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered here Friday for the traditional March for Life, with Vice President Mike...

Nearly 20 killed in pipeline explosion in Mexico

Mexico, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- At least 20 were killed and more than 70 have been injured after a Pemex pipeline burst in Hidalgo, Mexico, official sources said...

Former Chicago police officer sentenced to nearly 7 years jail for teen death

Chicago, USA, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke on Friday was sentenced to 6 years and 9 months in prison for the shooting...

Indigenous People's March in Washington DC

Washington DC, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Friday expressed concern over reports of forced sterilizations of...

Trump to make announcement Saturday on wall, shutdown

Washington, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said that he plans to address the people of the United States on Saturday about the situation on the...

Dominican clowns cross the country on foot to protest child abuse

Santo Domingo, Jan 18 (epa-efe).- Two-dozen Dominican clowns arrived in this capital Friday after walking 155km (96mi) from the northern city of Santiago to...

Washington-based craft beer maker sues Trump administration amid shutdown

Washington, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- A craft beer maker has filed a lawsuit against US President Donald Trump's administration, alleging that the company's...

Trump to meet North Korea's Kim late next month

Washington, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- The next summit of US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un will take place toward the end of February, the...

Mexico seeks 2,000 drivers for new fleet of fuel trucks

Mexico City, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- The Mexican government said Friday that it plans to hire 2,000 drivers for a new fleet of tanker trucks to ease fuel...

Swedish poet involved in Nobel Prize scandal leaves Swedish Academy

Copenhagen, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- The Swedish Academy, whose members select the winner of the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature, announced on Friday that...

No one hurt in blaze at Brazilian hospital

Sao Paulo, Jan 18 (epa-efe).- No one was hurt Friday when a fire broke out at a hospital in this Brazilian metropolis and the flames were quickly brought...

Spanish, UK gov'ts agree on plan to allow citizens to vote in local elections

Madrid, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- An agreement between Spain and the United Kingdom will mean that citizens of Spain living in the UK and vice-versa will be able...

Putin okays German, French to monitor Kerch Strait's freedom of navigation

Moscow, Jan 18, (efe-epa).- Russia's president has agreed to Germany's proposal to send German and French observers to confirm if Moscow is guaranteeing...

Colombia gov't: ELN rebels responsible for deadly car bombing

Bogota, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- Colombia's government said Friday that the National Liberation Army (ELN) leftist guerrilla group was behind a car bombing at a...

Somali business owners in Nairobi close stores, condemn deadly hotel attack

Nairobi, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- Business community members in a suburb of the Kenyan capital closed their shops on Friday in a protest condemning a deadly...

Spain's king, queen slated to visit Morocco in February

Madrid, Jan 17, (efe-epa).- The official state visit of the kings of Spain to the kingdom of Morocco, which has suffered various delays, remains on schedule...

Student protesters in Switzerland demand climate action at weekly strike

Lucerne (Switzerland), Jan 18 (efe-epa).- Thousands of young people took to the streets of Switzerland on Friday as part of a wider global movement that...

Soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso to face tax fraud verdict

Madrid, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- Former Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has been summoned to face the verdict of a Spanish court for allegedly...

Rescue of boy trapped in well in Spain threatened by weekend rain

Málaga (Spain), Jan 18 (efe-epa).- Rescuers searching for a two-year-old boy who fell into a deep and narrow borehole in southern Spain were on Friday...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.