LSE ‘in talks with Huawei over 5G research funding’

The London School of Economics (LSE) is reportedly in talks with Huawei over the Chinese company funding a three-year study on its “leadership” in the development of 5G technology.

The university confirmed to the Financial Times (FT) that “commercial negotiations” were ongoing, but no final agreement or payment had been made.

It comes a year after Oxford University said it was suspending research grants and funding donations from Huawei, amid security concerns about the firm’s telecommunication technology.

Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson defied US President Donald Trump by giving the green light for Huawei to have a limited role in the UK’s 5G network.

The National Security Council decided that “high-risk vendors” should be permitted to play a peripheral role in the network.

Mr Trump’s administration had lobbied against the UK allowing Huawei access on security grounds, as the US engages in a global struggle for influence with China.

According to the FT, which has seen internal university documents, the proposed research contract between the LSE and Huawei is worth £105,000.

The university told the newspaper its ethics committee had approved the funding in principle, but it remained “under discussion”.

“LSE has a clear ethics code which requires due diligence to be undertaken for all partnerships, which is kept under regular review,” it said.

Huawei told the FT that it could not comment on “an unconfirmed project”, but said it was “proud of our partnerships with the world-leading universities and researchers here in the UK”.

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