MIT halts collaborations with Chinese tech firms Huawei, ZTE

Huawei CEO says he's happy about 'attacks' from US

Huawei CEO says he's happy about 'attacks' from US

MIT says it is cutting ties with Chinese tech firms Huawei and ZTE, citing federal investigations of the companies.

The letter also notes that collaborations with China, Russia and Saudi Arabia - countries that have strained relationships with the USA - would be subject to additional review.

"The Institute will revisit collaborations with these entities as circumstances dictate", they added in the letter posted on MIT's website on Wednesday.

Huawei continues to work on devices like foldable phones, even as its devices are all-but-shut-out of the U.S. market.

The university said it chose to suspend ties with the companies following a review of projects that posed an 'elevated risk'.

Earlier this year, Oxford said it would not pursue new funding from Huawei for either research contracts or philanthropic donations - though existing projects would continue. The company denies all allegations of wrongdoing.

"We're disappointed by MIT's decision, but we understand the pressure they're under at the moment", Huawei said on Thursday.

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Neither Huawei nor ZTE immediately responded to requests for comment.

The U.S. discovered previous year that ZTE had shipped their products to Iran and North Korea, in violation of a pact agreed to not ship goods that originate in the United States to certain countries.

Both ZTE and Huawei have been the subject of extensive U.S. government sanctions after intel agencies sounded alarms that the two Chinese telcos were uncomfortably close with that country's authoritarian government and were likely to be coerced into using their equipment to spy on the USA and its alies.

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada at the request of the USA on charges of bank and wire fraud in violation of American sanctions against Iran.

In Beijing, the Foreign Ministry referred questions to the two companies, but said Chinese firms were required to abide by local laws.

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 prestigious tech and engineering school said this week it was dropping its contracts and projects with both companies over the accusations that both have violated U.S. trade sanctions.

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