Huawei has fired a Chinese sales director after he was arrested by Polish authorities last week on suspicion of spying.
Wang Weijing, who was apprehened alongside a former Polish security official on Friday, could be held for up to three months. But in an attempt to play down the incident, Huawei said it had fired Weijing and that his “alleged actions have no relation to the company”.
“In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labour contract, we have made this decision because the incident has brought Huawei into disrepute,” a spokesperson told NS Tech.
The incident is likely to embarass Huawei’s executive team, which is already reeling from a series of setbacks over the last 12 months.
Last year, officials in the US, New Zealand and Australia moved to restrict the role Huawei plays in their telecoms networks. The purge, which has been spearheaded by the US, follows concerns about the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese government. The firm has repeatedly stressed it operates independently of Beijing.
Huawei is also at the heart of China’s trade war with the US, which is now threatening to bar companies from using its equipment. Last month, America also called on Canada to arrest the firm’s chief financial officer for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.
Commenting on Weijing’s arrest, the Polish security services told Reuters that the allegations concerned individual actions and were notdirectly related to Huawei. But in light of the news, Poland’s internal affairs minister has suggested NATO and the EU should formulate a joint position on Huawei.
“There are concerns about Huawei within NATO as well. It would make most sense to have a joint stance, among EU member states and NATO members,” Joachim Brudzinski told Polish broadcaster RMF FM. “We want relations with China that are good, intensive and attractive for both sides.”
Huawei said in a statement: “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.”