Poland could consider limits on use of Huawei products

WARSAW: Poland could consider a ban on the use of Huawei products by public bodies and possible legislation to curtail their use by private citizens, a senior Polish government official said on Sunday, following the arrest of a Chinese Huawei official in Poland.

Poland arrested a Chinese employee of Huawei and a former Polish security official on spying allegations, officials and sources told Reuters on Friday, a move that could fuel Western security concerns about the telecoms equipment maker.

A government official who is responsible for cyber security told Reuters “abrupt” policy changes towards Huawei were not warranted after the arrests.

But he said the use of the company’s products by state entities could be reviewed.

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“We will analyze whether … our decision can include an end to the use … of Huawei products,” Karol Okonski told Reuters.

Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei said on Saturday it had sacked an employee arrested in Poland 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 European Union 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 security official on Friday.

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

Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecommunications equipment, faces intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with China’s government and U.S.-led allegations that its devices could be used by Beijing 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, US President Donald Trump signed a bill that barred the U.S. government from using Huawei equipment and is considering an executive order that would also ban US companies from doing so.

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.

 

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