Poland bound to be a loser if it follows the US in taking on Huawei: analyst
Published: Jan 11, 2019 11:23 PM
Chinese analysts urged Poland not to placate the US by following into its steps of taking on Chinese high-tech giant Huawei after another company executive was arrested in Poland on Friday, following chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou's case in Canada.

"If Poland wants to damage ties with China over the Huawei case, which is obviously groundless, it will be the biggest loser, as China has an upper hand in 'dealing with the country,' for example, trade," Zhao Junjie, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of European Studies told the Global Times on Friday.

Zhao warned that Poland should not be "too close" to the US, especially in Huawei's case.

The news also sparked chatter among some Chinese netizens, with some saying that Poland is following Canada's move to become a "US tool."

The Huawei executive has been arrested for allegedly conducting high-level espionage on behalf of a Chinese spy agency, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Friday, citing Poland's state-owned Telewizja Polska.

The Chinese embassy in Poland confirmed to the Global Times on Friday night that the arrested Chinese citizen is a Huawei employee, and authorities are taking the issue very seriously. The Chinese side asked local authorities to inform it about the incident as soon as possible, arrange consular visits, handle the matter fairly and in keeping with the law, and effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of the person involved by according humanitarian treatment. 

The arrested Chinese executive is Wang Weijing, who is a sales director for Huawei in Poland, according to media reports. The Global Times tried to call him on the phone on Friday but he did not answer. On WeChat moments, Wang has posted a photo of Warsaw as a cover, shot by Huawei P9, as seen by the Global Times. 

And he introduces himself on WeChat moments as a person "growing stronger and yearning for strength."

It is impossible that Huawei staff will engage in espionage activities considering its strict internal control and compliance requirements, and it's absurd to consider this private company as a place gathering intelligence for the government, Xiang Ligang, a Beijing-based veteran analyst told the Global Times on Friday.

A friend of Wang since college who was assigned to Poland with him told the Global Times that he does not believe Wang may be involved in espionage, as "he is a just a businessman." 

"We are aware of the situation, and we are looking into it. We have no comment for the time being," Huawei said in a statement, adding that it complies with all laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and requires every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the nations they are based. Huawei did not reveal the name of the employee.  

Several Chinese citizens living in Poland said that they are paying close attention to the incident. "I was shocked, there's no reason for the local authorities to arrest a Huawei employee on an espionage charge, which is a huge accusation," an employee working for a Chinese company in Warsaw, told the Global Times on Friday. 

The arrest also comes amid widening scrutiny from Western countries of the tech company, claiming that it poses a national security risk. But Huawei has repeatedly denied this.

Huawei has been  reportedly blocked from participating in the 5G networks of Australia and New Zealand on the back of such fears. And Norway said on Wednesday that it was considering whether to join other Western nations in excluding Huawei from building part of its new 5G telecom network.