China seeks consular access for Huawei employee arrested in Poland: State media

China seeks consular access for Huawei employee arrested in Poland: State media

The arrest in Poland is the latest setback for Huawei, following the arrest of the group's CFO
The arrest in Poland is the latest setback for Huawei, following the arrest of the group's CFO in Canada last month AFP/David Becker

BEIJING: China is seeking consular access for Huawei employee Wang Weijing who was arrested in Poland over espionage allegations, state media reported on Saturday (Jan 12).

Citing China's foreign ministry of affairs, state broadcaster CCTV said Beijing is "closely following" the detention of Wang Weijing and has asked to arrange a consular visit "as soon as possible".

The Chinese embassy in Poland has also asked Warsaw to "effectively ensure the legitimate rights and interests, and humanitarian and safe treatment of the person involved."

A Polish man was also arrested for alleged espionage along with Wang on Tuesday. Both men are suspected of having "worked for Chinese services and to the detriment of Poland," said Polish special services spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn.

He said their apartments and workplaces were searched, adding that the Polish suspect had worked "for several state institutions".

The arrest of Wang is the latest setback for Huawei.

The firm's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada last month on request from the United States, who have accused her of violating Iranian sanctions.

Following her arrest two Canadians were detained in China on grounds of national security, in what has largely been seen as retaliation for the case.

The incident has also sparked a surge of patriotism in China with companies encouraging staff to buy Huawei smartphones - and several companies even offering employee subsidies to buy phones from the home-grown company.

Huawei in December said it expects to see a 21 percent rise in revenue for 2018 despite what it called "unfair treatment" around the world, as several countries have banned Huawei telecommunications technology.

Last month, Britain's largest mobile provider BT said that it would remove Huawei equipment from its cellular network after the foreign intelligence service called the company a security risk.

Australia and New Zealand have also enacted similar bans, leaving Canada the only country in the "Five Eyes" intelligence network not to take steps against the Chinese firm.

Source: AFP

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