MIT halts partnerships with Huawei Technologies and ZTE

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has halted partnerships with Huawei Technologies and ZTE over U.S. federal investigations of the Chinese technology companies’ alleged violations of sanctions.
Huawei and ZTE
“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,” Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research, said in a letter posted on its website.

Zuber also said the institute’s collaborations with China, Russia and Saudi Arabia will face additional administrative review procedures, Reuters reported.

“The Institute will revisit collaborations with these entities as circumstances dictate,” she said.

UK’s Oxford University earlier this year stopped accepting funding from Huawei, the #1 telecom equipment maker in the world.

MIT has joined a list of top U.S. educational institutes that are ditching telecom network equipment made by Huawei and other Chinese companies to avoid losing federal funding.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei CFO and daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in December at U.S. behest on charges of bank and wire fraud in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran. She denies wrongdoing.

ZTE was forced to stop most business between April and July last year due to U.S. sanctions after Commerce Department officials had said the company broke a previous agreement and was caught illegally shipping U.S.-origin goods to Iran and North Korea. The sanctions were lifted after ZTE paid $1.4 billion in penalties.

Chinese telecommunications equipment makers have also been facing mounting scrutiny, led by the United States, amid worries their equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. The companies, however, have said the concerns are unfounded.