China arrests 5 Huawei employees who alleged in private WeChat group that Huawei evaded Iran sanctions

And in the case of the jailed employees, Mr. Li and Mr. Zeng said, the police appear to have arrested them in part to stop them from speaking out about Huawei’s activities in Iran.

News of Mr. Li’s detention set off a wave of anger at Huawei in China last year. Internet users were outraged at what seemed to be a case of a vindictive corporation’s punishing an employee who dared to demand the pay he was owed. Censors quickly erased critical comments and articles. But at the time, the police’s interest in the employees’ discussions about Iran was not reported.

The discussion about Iran took place on Dec. 11, according to screenshots seen by The Times. Days later, Mr. Li was arrested in Shenzhen, where Huawei has its headquarters. Mr. Zeng was arrested shortly thereafter in Thailand, where he was vacationing, and taken back to China.