Chinese tech company Huawei has ‘infiltrated’ a research center at the University of Cambridge, critics say.
Calls are made for an ‘urgent investigation’ into the UK’s reliance on China as it is revealed that three of the four directors of the Cambridge Center for Chinese Management (CCCM) have ties to Huawei.
According to the Time, the CCCM’s chief representative is also a former Huawei senior vice president who has been paid by the Chinese government.
The university insists a former Huawei executive never provided services to the center, while the company itself has said any suggestion of impropriety is absurd.
Critics have argued that the Huawei tapes are proof that the university has allowed the CCCM to be infiltrated by the Chinese company that has no access to the UK’s 5G network.
Johnny Patterson, policy director of the Hong Kong Watch campaign group, told the newspaper that the university should investigate Huawei’s relationship with the CCCM.
Critics have called for an investigation after it emerged that three of the four directors of the Cambridge Center for Chinese Management have ties to Huawei. Pictured: Peterhouse, the oldest college at Cambridge University, near where China’s center is located
Meanwhile, Ian Duncan Smith described Cambridge University as “one of the worst offenders” when it came to money from China.
He told the Times that in recent years British companies and universities have become ‘far too reliant on Chinese money’, adding: ‘The government urgently needs to investigate the UK’s dependence on China at a range of institutions and companies. ‘
Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, head of the China Research Group and chairman of the selection committee for foreign affairs, told the paper: “Perceived academic influence is clearly a problem and just as universities would never take money from tobacco companies to investigate links to cancer.” so institutions have to be very careful about where they take their money.’
Earlier this year, it was announced that 20 leading universities have collectively accepted more than £40 million in funding from China.
The Cambridge Center for Chinese Management is part of the university’s right-hand business school and describes itself as ‘an academic research institute dedicated to the study of the management practices and strategies of Chinese enterprises’.
The center’s website describes how the “chief representative in China” is Yanping Hu, a former senior vice president at Huawei.
Chinese tech giant Huawei has been banned from the UK’s 5G network due to security concerns
The Times reports that in response to a request for freedom of information, Cambridge University said Hu has “currently and never provided anything to or services for Cambridge Judge Business School or the Cambridge Center for Chinese Management.”
The newspaper claims that additional references to Hu were removed from the website after their inquiries were made.
The center was founded by Prof. Christopher Loch, Prof. dr. Peter Williamson, Dr. Eden Yin and Tian Tao, who is described on the site as senior advisor to Huawei Technologies.
The site also describes how he wrote a book about the company called Huawei: Leadership, Culture, and Connectivity, which analyzes the company’s growth.
According to the Times, Williamson has written articles for Chinese state magazines and supported Huawei when critics lashed out at the company.
Meanwhile, Yin, who co-wrote a paper with Tian, wrote Huawei: How Can We Lead The Way?
Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) has previously accused Jesus College at the University of Cambridge of becoming a ‘mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party’.
Huawei said: ‘We are incredibly proud of our relationships with UK universities and any suggestion of impropriety is absurd and reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of academic partnerships with companies from around the world.’
The university is increasingly under scrutiny for its ties to China as it is Jesus College was found to have received a £155,000 grant from Huawei and later judged the telecom giant positively.
The college also received a £200,000 grant from the Chinese government in 2018.
In July, it was reported that a university professor said students should avoid discussions about human rights violations in China, as doing so would lead to “unhelpful” and “controversial” results.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has since accused the college of being a “mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party.”
According to researchers, an estimated 1 million people or more – most of them Uyghurs – have been detained in re-education camps in Xinjiang in recent years.
Chinese authorities have been accused of imposing forced labour, systematic forced birth control and torture, and separating children from incarcerated parents.
Earlier this year, the Chinese research group found that twenty leading British universities have collectively accepted more than £40 million in funding from Huawei and selected Chinese state-owned companies in recent years.
The investigation found that Imperial College London has accepted between £3.5m and £14.5m from Huawei, while the company has given £1.1m to Lancaster University for research.
York University and King’s College London were also among the institutions to receive funding from the Chinese tech giant.
Cambridge University has been contacted for comment.