Polish Government Mulls Huawei Ban After Employee Arrested

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The Polish government is reportedly considering a ban of the use of Huawei products by the public sector following the arrest of an employee of the firm on suspicion of espionage.

Country sales director, Wang Weijing, was arrested on Friday along with a former Polish official who was apparently responsible for issuing security certificates for government IT equipment.

Huawei has sought to distance itself from the spying allegations by sacking Wang. The firm has said in a statement that the individual had brought the Shenzhen giant into disrepute, but that at the same time his alleged actions “have no relation to the company.”

With national security concerns over Chinese firms growing in the West, Warsaw could be inclined to join others in cooling its relationship with the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker.

A senior government official told Reuters it was considering a public sector ban on Huawei alongside possible legislation which could allow restrictions to be placed on firms posing a national security threat.

Cybersecurity minister, Karol Okonski, told the news site: “We will analyze whether ... our decision can include an end to the use ... of Huawei products.”

“We do not have the legal means to force private companies or citizens to stop using any IT company’s products,” he added. “It cannot be ruled out that we will consider legislative changes that would allow such a move.”

Although the firm has repeatedly hit back at claims it is a security risk, stating it is a victim of wider geopolitical tensions, the US and Australia have effectively banned its equipment from their 5G networks while New Zealand and Canada are mooting the same.

Japan has said it will prevent the firm from competing for government contracts.

In the UK, the firm has pledged $2bn to allay recently aired security concerns about vulnerabilities in its products, although its equipment will still be used in BT’s 5G edge networks. There’s also the possibility that the government will go further.

“We need to decide the extent to which we are going to be comfortable with Chinese ownership of these technologies and these platforms in an environment where some of our allies have taken a very definite position,” MI6 chief Alex Younger has said.

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