The University of Oxford’s donations committee told computer science graduate students last week not to take research funding from Huawei Technologies, at least for the next three to six months.
The U.S. government and many of its allies have accused Huawei of being a conduit for Chinese industrial spying and of circumventing U.S.-led sanctions on Iran. Canada and Poland have both arrested Huawei staff over related charges.
Huawei has around 1500 employees in the U.K. and has donated around $7.5 million to research institutions there, according to the South China Morning Post.
The U.K. government late last year cautioned its research institutions about accepting funding from the tech giant. Oxford said it would continue ongoing projects but would not accept new research funding. It also told The Guardian, “We hope these matters can be resolved shortly and note Huawei’s own willingness to reassure governments about its role and activities.”
Huawei is or has been a funding partner on projects ranging from technology for development to data architecture to machine vision.
The company stated: “We were not informed of this decision and await the university’s full explanation. As a private, employee-owned technology company, with a strong track record in R&D we believe partnership decisions should, like research, be evidence-based.