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Cambridge University received £25.7 million from Chinese tech company Huawei since 2016, The Spectator revealed this morning (30/12).

The cash was divided between research grants and general donations, and was revealed by a series of Freedom of Information requests which showed that nine of the UK’s leading universities have collectively received £28.7 million from Huawei.

The revelations come after rising concerns surrounding the Chinese telecoms giant’s influence in Cambridge.

In September this year, The Times reported that Huawei had “infiltrated” the Cambridge Centre for Chinese Management, alleging that three of the Centre’s four directors had ties to Huawei. And last July it was revealed that Jesus College’s UK-China Global Issues Dialogue Centre had received a £155,000 research grant from Huawei and £200,000 from “an agency that is part of China’s State Council.”

According to Steerpike, The Spectator’s gossip column, Cambridge received £18.3 million in research grants from Huawei over the past five years, the largest of which came in February 2018 at £2.9 million.

Cambridge has also accepted £7.4 million in donations since 2016.

While the University refused to release exact annual figures, they told The Spectator that the donations totalled between £50,000 and £99,000 in 2016/17, £5.5 million and £9.9 million in 2018/19 and between £1 million and £4.9 million in 2020/21.


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Cambridge has also received more money from Huawei than any other UK university. While Oxford accepted between £500,000 and £2.39 million in grants and donations since 2016, in 2018 it refused to take any more funding.

According to Cambridge’s publically available figures, since 2016, research grant income “based on expenditure” from Huawei comes to a total of £11.2 million, while the company’s philanthropic donations within the same period amount to £7,531,547.

On their website, Cambridge outlines their commitment to engage in “rigorous discussions” regarding their links with Chinese companies, and sees “collaboration” with Chinese organisations and academics as “an important part of [their] mission.”