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Poland arrests employee of Chinese tech giant Huawei for spying for gov't

US suspects that the tech giant has ties to Chinese intelligence

ROBERT LEVER/AFP/Getty Images

Authorities in Poland arrested an employee of the Chinese tech giant Huawei and charged him with espionage, Reuters reported.

Here's what we know

Maciej Wasik, the deputy head of Poland's special services, said that the Huawei employee was arrested along with a Polish national who was "known in circles associated with cyber-business affairs." Both the employee and the Pole, he said, had "carried out espionage activities against Poland."

The Huawei employee was identified as the company's sales director for Poland, Weijing W., while the Polish citizen, Piotr D., worked for a telecommunications company called Orange Polska.

NPR reported that the Polish government believes the two had "cooperated with the Chinese services" while spying in Poland. This would seem to back up U.S. accusations that Huawei has working closely with Chinese intelligence.

Last year, the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the director of national intelligence all warned U.S. citizens not to use Huawei products.

A spokeswoman for Huawei confirmed to NBC News that one of its employees had been taken into custody. However, they refused to provide any further clarification. A spokesperson for Orange Polska told NPR that the company was cooperating with authorities.

A conviction could come with a 10-year prison sentence. Huawei is currently the No. 1 seller of smartphones in Poland.

This isn't the first time Huawei has been in the news recently

In December, Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei and the daughter of its founder. She was released on $7.5 million bail but has remained in Vancouver. The United States has been trying to have her extradited.

U.S. authorities have accused Meng of using front companies to bypass international sanctions in order to have business dealings with Iran and Syria. Huawei has denied these claims and demanded Meng's release.

One last thing…
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