Huawei Fires Employee Arrested in Poland on Spying Charges

BEIJING — The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has fired an employee who was arrested in Poland on charges of spying for the Chinese government, saying in a statement late Saturday that the worker had brought “disrepute” to the company.

Huawei said that the alleged actions that the employee, Wang Weijing, had been accused of had nothing to do with the company.

“In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident in question has brought Huawei into disrepute,” a company spokesman, Joe Kelly, said.

The Polish authorities announced the arrests of Mr. Wang and a Polish telecommunications worker on Friday. That move came at a time of growing concern among the United States and its allies about Chinese technology suppliers, and after the December arrest in Canada of Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder.

Huawei’s equipment is used in mobile phone and internet networks around the world. But American officials have for years considered the company to be vulnerable to efforts by Beijing to spy on Americans or sabotage their communication systems.

Huawei denies that it operates as an extension of Beijing. Still, as the company has grown to become the world’s top supplier of telecommunications gear, the United States government has worked to discourage American mobile carriers and consumers from buying its equipment. Washington has shared its security concerns with allied governments in Europe and elsewhere.

On Dec. 1, Meng Wangzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States. American investigators have accused her of deceiving financial institutions about Huawei’s business in Iran, causing them to inadvertently violate United States sanctions. The Canadian legal authorities have not yet decided whether Ms. Meng will be extradited to the United States.

Diplomatic tensions between China and Canada jumped after Ms. Meng’s arrest, with Beijing detaining several Canadians in what were seen as tit-for-tat arrests. Among those still being held in China are Michael Kovrig, an experienced diplomat and Sinophile who had spent years investigating sensitive subjects like the human rights of minority groups in China; and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur with high-level contacts in North Korea.

The second person arrested by the Polish authorities this past week was an employee of Orange, the French telecommunications company. Orange’s office was raided, and the employee’s belongings were seized. Polish officials did not offer more details about what the two men were accused of, but said that they would be held for three months while the investigation continued.

Poland is Huawei’s headquarters for Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic region.

Huawei made the announcement about the firing of Mr. Wang at an unusual time — on a Saturday night China time. Though Huawei appeared to try to distance itself from the allegations made against Mr. Wang by the Polish authorities, he was working for the company during the time he is accused of spying.

A LinkedIn profile for Mr. Wang showed he has been employed by Huawei’s Polish division since 2011 and previously served as attaché to the Chinese general consul in Gdansk from 2006 to 2011, according to Reuters.

Europe has been an important market for Huawei. Largely shut out of the United States, the company has found many eager customers in Europe, both for its smartphones and for its telecommunications equipment.

As cellular providers around the world prepare to build networks using fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless technology, Huawei has tested new equipment with a number of major European carriers.

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