BEIJING (AFP) – China is seeking consular access for Huawei employee Wang Weijing who was arrested in Poland over espionage allegations, state media reported yesterday.
Citing China’s ministry of foreign 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”.
According to the LinkedIn profile of ‘Stanislaw Wang’ – Wang’s Polish name, according to Polish media TVP – the detained Huawei employee worked at the Chinese consulate in Gdansk, Poland prior to his tenure at the Chinese tech firm.
At Huawei, Wang worked as a public relations director for more than five years before moving into his current role as sales director in 2017.
He is a graduate of the Beijing University of Foreign Studies.
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 last year said it expects to see a 21 per cent 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.