Briefing

Huawei executive charged with spying in Poland after Huawei Canada president insists his company would never spy for China

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On Thursday, Eric Li, president of Huawei Canada, insisted his company would never spy for China. Then, on Friday, Polish state media reported that Weijing Wang stands accused of spying for a Chinese intelligence agency, a crime that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Also on Friday, Scott Bradley, a senior Huawei Canada executive who served as the company’s primary spokesperson since 2011, left the company. (Wall Street Journal, CNN, Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: This is the second high-profile arrest of a Huawei executive in a U.S.-allied country, following the detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. Wang’s detention will require the Chinese government to split its focus as they try to get both him and Meng released. Meng has a significantly higher profile, and is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, so the bulk of China’s ire is likely to remain on Canada. On Wednesday, Chinese ambassador Lu Shaye accused Canada of “Western egotism and white supremacy” for detaining Meng, who is living in Vancouver and allowed to leave her home during the day at the same time the government is demanding the release of detained Canadians—at least one of whom is being interrogated in his cell three times a day and isn’t allowed to turn off the lights.