A Cambridge University research centre has been ‘infiltrated’ by Huawei, critics claim.
It has been revealed that three of the four directors of the Cambridge Centre for Chinese Management (CCCM) have connections with Huawei, prompting calls for a ‘urgent review’ of the UK’s dependence on China.
China’s government has also paid Huawei vice-president who heads the CCCM, the Times reports.
Huawei, however, has said any suggestion of impropriety is absurd, while the university insists that its former executive has never provided services to the centre.
Critics contend that Huawei’s ties to the CCCM demonstrate the university’s acceptance of Chinese companies who have been banned from participating in Britain’s 5G network.
Johnny Patterson, the policy director of the Hong Kong Watch campaign group, urged the school to look into Huawei’s relationship with the CCCM.
The University of Cambridge is something of a ‘worst offender’ when it comes to relying on Chinese money, according to Ian Duncan Smith.
In his interview with the Times, he said American and Chinese money had become “far too deeply ingrained” in British companies and universities. He said that the government should set up an inquiry into British companies’ and institutions’ dependency on Chinese money.
Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the foreign affairs select committee and director of the China Research Group, said in the newspaper: ‘Public perception of academic influence is definitely an issue, and universities would never take money from tobacco companies to investigate cancer related links, same goes for institutions.’
Huawei China provided more than £40 million in funding to 20 leading universities earlier this year.
This research institute provides academic research on management strategies and practices in Chinese companies as part of the university’s judge business school.
Yanping Hu served as Huawei’s senior vice president before leaving the company to run his own center.
Upon receiving a freedom of information request from The Times, Cambridge University reported that Hu ‘never has and will never again supply any goods or services to Cambridge Judge business school or the Chinese management centre at Cambridge University’.
Further references to Hu were reportedly taken offline after the newspaper contacted the website.
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Tian Tao works as a senior adviser for Huawei Technologies and was a co-founder of the centre with Prof Christopher Loch, Prof Peter Williamson, Dr Eden Yin and Prof Peter Williamson.
Also described on the site is his book as well, Huawei: Leadership, Culture, and Connectivity, which analyzes the company’s growth.
Williamson wrote articles for Chinese state papers and supported Huawei when its critics attacked it, the Times reports.
Huawei comments: ‘You have a fundamental misunderstanding of academic partnerships with businesses from around the world, when you suggest that there is impropriety in our relationships with UK universities.’
A huge amount of scrutiny is being thrown into Jesus College’s connections to China, with a £155,000 grant taken from Huawei and a later positive ruling on the Chinese telecom giant.
Chinese government also awarded the college £200,000 in 2018.
According to a report at the college, a professor told students they should avoid discussing human rights abuses in China since it could develop into an ‘unhelpful’ and ‘contentious’ conversation.
Lord Duncan Smith has complained that the college has become the mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party.
Xinjiang has been incarcerating an estimated 1 million or more people in re-education camps in recent years, most of them Uighurs.
It has been alleged that Chinese authorities impose forced labor, enforce forced birth control, and separate children from their incarcerated parents.
The Chinese Research Group revealed earlier this year that more than £40 million has been awarded to 20 leading UK universities by Huawei and other state-owned Chinese companies.