Negroponte at an event in New York on March 18, 2015.
Several top research universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), cut ties with huawei after the U.S. government sued the Chinese tech giant in 2019, but MIT professors still work with Huawei.
The Washington Free Beacon reported on Jan. 26 that Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT’s Media Lab, wrote in May 2019 that “the U.S. should not ban Huawei, it should welcome it.”
However, the column was not written by Negroponte himself; Huawei employee Winter Wright said on his LinkedIn page that he “ghostwrote” the article for an MIT professor, and that the MIT research center has millions of dollars in research funding from Huawei. funding from Huawei.
The Washington Free Beacon article says this is one aspect of Huawei’s partnership with Negroponte, which continues even after MIT announced in 2019 that it was terminating its partnership with Huawei because of 13 federal lawsuits against the company.
For years, Negroponte has praised Huawei and defended it. In turn, Huawei has funded the MIT Media Lab – a world-class research institute founded by Negroponte in 1985, with research in media technology, computing, bioengineering, nano and human sciences.
Negroponte is one of the most influential intellectuals in the United States, with extensive ties to the technology and government communities. He is an angel investor (an investor who invests in a start-up company from its inception) in well-known U.S. technology companies such as Skype, and his brother John Negroponte served as Deputy Secretary of State in the Bush administration.
The partnership between Negroponte and Huawei is just one example of the extensive monetary ties that exist between Chinese and American universities. A review of records by the Washington Free Beacon found that China’s military-industrial complex has allocated $88 million to U.S. universities in recent years, and that more than 100 U.S. universities at one point opened Confucius Institutes.
Huawei’s Collaboration with MIT
Huawei’s partnership with MIT began in 2008, when a research team from MIT’s Media Lab named Huawei’s U.S. subsidiary as an industry partner. Negroponte’s relationship with Huawei dates back to 2011, when he praised China for building telecommunications infrastructure in Africa at an MIT outreach session hosted by Huawei.
MIT Media Lab officially listed Huawei as a sponsor from fiscal years 2012 to 2017. The consortium sponsorship provides Huawei with a number of privileges, including “access to all research conducted at the lab” and “full intellectual property rights to its research results.
It is not clear how much Huawei donated to the MIT Media Lab as a member of the consortium, and MIT has publicly acknowledged that it received only $500,000 from Huawei, but a note on the MIT Media Lab website says Huawei donated $1.4 million to fund a robotics research project.
More than a dozen top universities ‘underreported’ $6.5 billion in foreign funding
Since 2019, the U.S. Department of Education has investigated more than a dozen top universities, including Harvard and MIT, and found that U.S. universities failed to report at least $6.5 billion in such funding.
According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Education in October 2020, Department of Education investigators found that “many large colleges and universities are aggressively pursuing and receiving foreign funding” without complying with their reporting obligations, the Wall Street Journal reported. “The evidence suggests that institutional decision-making is often disconnected from a sense of obligation to taxpayers or concern for U.S. national interests, security, or values.”
As an example, the report cites a university that has entered into about $11 million in contracts and agreements with Huawei since 2013, ranging from research agreements to donations to specific projects. The Wall Street Journal judged the university to be the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The U.S. House of Representatives’ China Task Force released a report in September 2020 detailing how U.S.-China relations have competed and changed in various areas in recent years. It reads: For decades, many international institutions have been naive about the ideology and goals of the Chinese Communist Party. The continued acceptance of the CCP’s evil ideology and behavior has altered the international system and set it back in promoting a free and open international system. Part of the CCP’s trickery is to act like a parasite to extract maximum self-interest in the current system.
Flawless Security at Huawei vs. Doubt at African Union Headquarters
In the article “Huawei Should Be Welcomed,” Negroponte’s ghostwriter writes, “Huawei has a flawless 30-year record of cybersecurity and more than 500 satisfied telecom customers worldwide.” The Washington Free Beacon article says Negroponte’s claims stand in stark contrast to disturbing reports that Huawei is in Africa, allegedly helping African governments spy on political opponents and building computer servers at the African Union headquarters that transmit data to Shanghai late at night between 0:00 and 2:00 each day.
The article says the Negroponte op-ed came in handy for Huawei as it tried to convince skeptical Western governments around the world. Huawei cited the article in its public submissions to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the Australian Department of Home Affairs, as well as in official position papers on cybersecurity, because of Negroponte’s reputation. China’s Grand Foreign Mission also wrote an article titled “MIT Scholar Opposes U.S. Ban on Huawei”.
The MIT scholar continues to help Huawei’s public relations against Western censorship. Negroponte, along with Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, denounced the U.S. government’s concern that Huawei poses a “national security threat” at a high-profile roundtable in June 2019, and he appeared in an online forum with Huawei’s Chairman-in-Office Guo Ping in May 2020.
MIT and Epstein Relationship Scandal
Negroponte’s decision to accept Huawei’s donation coincided with his aggressive fundraising methods, the article said. Negroponte recently came under fire after he defended the MIT Media Lab’s acceptance of donations from pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
In a September 2019 article in The New Yorker, “How an elite university’s research center hid its ties to Epstein,” the New Yorker noted that according to dozens of emails they obtained, as well as other documents, while Epstein had long been listed in MIT’s official donor database as “disqualified,” the Media Lab still communicated with him about the use of the funds and avoided disclosing the full extent of his donations to the public and within the university by marking his contributions as anonymous.
The Washington Free Beacon article said MIT did not answer the question of why Negroponte was allowed to continue working with Huawei after it called off its collaboration with Huawei. Neither Negroponte nor Huawei responded to their requests for comment.