Last week, a Huawei employee was arrested in Poland over espionage charges. Now, Huawei has sacked the employee in a bid to distance itself from the incident.
Polish authorities had arrested a Huawei sales director, Wang Weijing, also called Stanislaw Wang, in Warsaw on charges of spying on Poland for Beijing. He was arrested alongside a former polish security official.
Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer has been the object of concern among nations who fear the security challenges it poses because of its ties to the Chinese government.
Huawei claimed Wang acted alone, saying his actions had no relation to the company.
‘Huawei has decided to terminate the employment of Mr. Wang Weijing, who was arrested on suspicion of breaking Polish law,’ Huawei said in a statement on Saturday.
‘In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident in question has brought Huawei into disrepute.’
The Chinese government also denied its involvement. A spokesman for China’s embassy in Warsaw told Chinese state media that Beijing ‘attached great importance’ to the case and was following it up with the Polish foreign ministry.
Meanwhile, Poland’s internal affairs minister, Joachim Brudzinski, said the European Union and NATO should work 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,’ the minister reportedly said.
Wang, who had worked for Huawei’s Polish division since 2011, was an attache to the Chinese General Consul in Gdansk from 2006-2011.
Huawei, founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer at the People’s Liberation Army, denies that the company has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party or has any intention to design equipment to facilitate eavesdropping.
But many experts say no Chinese company is fully independent of its government, which can legally require companies to assist with gathering intelligence.