Oxford University has decided to forgo further funding from Chinese tech giant Huawei as scrutiny grows in Europe Within the telecom company’s relationship with the Beijing government.
Huawei has been under fire in recent weeks with the arrests of a leading executive in Canada and a worker in Poland, along with a global campaign by Washington to blacklist its equipment.
“We now have two such ongoing projects, using a combined funding from Huawei of GBP 692,000 ($898,000),” a university spokesman said Thursday, adding that Huawei had been advised of this choice to turn off prospective funding.
Oxford said it had decided in”light of public concerns raised lately surrounding UK partnerships with Huawei.”
But a Huawei spokesman said the company had not been advised and would”await the University’s full explanation.”
“We’ve operated in the UK since 2001, employ 1,500 people here and also have long standing research collaborations with 20 other UK universities working to develop the technologies of the future,” he said.
Huawei faces unprecedented challenges for its business amid a global effort by Washington to push nations to rethink using the telecom giant’s gear in their mobile networks over safety concerns.
Australia and New Zealand banned its equipment this past year along with a top British operator proceeded to eliminate its current equipment, while concerns grow in Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and other nations.
Huawei’s reclusive founder Ren Zhengfei stepped out of the shadows this week to provide a rare media meeting, forcefully denying accusations that his company participated in espionage on behalf of the Chinese authorities.
The business fired the Chinese worker in Poland who was arrested on espionage allegations.
Ren’s daughter and Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained in Canada a month on US fraud charges associated with Iran sanctions violations.