Huawei employee's arrest may undermine its 5G development race
Updated 14:24, 16-Jan-2019
By Aljosa Milenkovic
Huawei decided to terminate its contract with its sales executive Wang Weijing, who was arrested last Tuesday in Poland on charges of espionage. Meanwhile, a Polish judge has ordered Wang and another Polish citizen who was arrested together with him to remain in detention for the next three months while an investigation is conducted. 
Analysts are saying the timing for revealing this case of alleged espionage is not coincidental, pointing at the introduction of the 5G mobile network to the country.
"There are two [pieces of] legislation which are currently being drafted by the government. Both of them are being drafted around 5G, so it's a critical moment actually, a critical two months in Poland to talk about 5G," said Piotr Mieczkowski, an independent telecommunications consultant.
During those two months, Poland is about to decide whether it will use 5G technology from Huawei or a provider from a Western country.
Since Huawei is actively participating in introducing 5G technology to mobile networks in Poland, some are saying that this arrest is aimed at undermining its position in the 5G race.
Yet the Polish Internal Security Agency is downplaying the role of Huawei in this case.
A 5G exhibition hall in Huawei research and development center in Beijing. /VCG Photo

A 5G exhibition hall in Huawei research and development center in Beijing. /VCG Photo

"At this stage, the case concerns the two specific individuals who have been charged. One of them works for a Chinese telecommunications company, but at this point, this case and this investigation concern only him and his collaboration with the Chinese intelligence services. It is not a procedure or investigation related to the company as such," said Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesperson for the Internal Security Agency.
Regardless of the distancing of alleged actions of Wang Weijing from Huawei, it is hard to imagine that the company's image will remain unscathed.
Politicians here in Warsaw are mostly tight-lipped about this case of alleged espionage. Analysts say their silence apparently shows that nobody wants this to escalate any further, because the potential damage could hurt all sides. This is a price that hardly anybody here is willing to pay.