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MIT latest to cut ties with Huawei, ZTE
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has severed ties with Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp as U.S. authorities investigate the Chinese firms for alleged Iranian sanctions violations, the school said this week.
MIT is the latest in a series of leading universities who have disengaged with Huawei and other Chinese companies to avoid losing federal funding. Earlier this year, Oxford University stopped accepting funding from the Chinese conglomerate. A letter posted on the university’s website and signed by MIT Associate Provost Richard Lester and VP of Research Maria Zuber, announced a “new review process for international collaborations.” As a result of the new review process, the letter stated, "MIT is not accepting new engagements or renewing existing ones with Huawei and ZTE or their respective subsidiaries due to federal investigations regarding violations of sanction restrictions. The Institute will revisit collaborations with these entities as circumstances dictate.” Referencing other entities, the letter continued, “Most recently, we have determined that engagements with certain countries – currently China, Russia and Saudi Arabia – merit additional faculty and administrative review beyond the usual evaluations that all international projects receive.” In a press statement on Thursday, a spokesperson for Huawei said, “We’re disappointed by MIT’s decision, but we understand the pressure they’re under at the moment. The company denies the allegations of the U.S. government. We trust the U.S. judicial system will ultimately reach the right conclusion.” As has been reported in various media outlets previously, Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the United States on charges of bank and wire fraud in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Wanzhou is denying any wrongdoing.
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