According to fresh numbers obtained by The Spectator, Huawei has given British institutions twice as much money as earlier estimates suggest.
Steerpike’s Freedom of Information requests reveal that nine leading UK institutions have received a further £28.7 million from the Chinese tech behemoth, on top of the sums uncovered in a landmark investigation by the China Research Group in June.
Cambridge University, by far the largest receiver of gifts and research funds, has received £25.7 million from Huawei alone since 2016.
According to a study released last year by the Commons Defence Select Committee, Huawei is’strongly linked to the Chinese state and the Chinese Communist Party despite its statements to the contrary’, highlighting its ownership model and subsidies.
Constituent college Jesus produced a study on telecommunications reforms in February 2020 that lauded Huawei and included a preface from university Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope.
The corporation paid £150,000 for the research and £200,000 for its Dialogue Centre from a branch of the Chinese State Council, according to the Times five months later.
Mr S has now learned that Cambridge has received 31 research grants worth a total of £18.3 million in the last five years, averaging £592,000 each award.
The greatest award was £2.9 million in February 2018, with a total of £5.7 million awarded since February 2017.
Cambridge’s total acceptance of £25.7 million is remarkable in light of Oxford’s statement in 2018 that the institution would no longer take financing from Huawei.
Twenty renowned UK colleges have accepted more than £40 million in financing from Huawei and state-owned Chinese enterprises in recent years, according to a report released in June by the China Research Group of hawkish Tory MPs.
Huawei’s current scrutiny and political attention does not appear to have deterred institutions from accepting funds from the company: Reading University has not yet received any grant funds, but it has been awarded £50,300 for a 12-month research contract with Huawei, which will begin in July 2021.
Cardiff University received £1.2 million from Huawei in January, on top of the £1.49 million it received in January 2017.
Since the China Research Group report, Manchester and King’s College London have received £174,000 and £164,000 from the same source, respectively; York has an additional £71,000 to declare.
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And like always our hint, that many of the Chinese people are great and peace-loving but Chinese President Xi Jinping is not.