MIT Cuts Ties with Huawei and ZTE after U.S. Launches Investigations

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology cut ties with Chinese technology manufacturers Huawei and ZTE this week after the US launched federal investigations into both companies.

According to reports, Chinese technology manufacturers Huawei and ZTE are facing investigations by the United States governments over alleged sanctions violations. Now, in response to the investigations, the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology is cutting ties with the manufacturers.

MIT announced the decision to cut ties in a letter to the community that was released on Wednesday.

“At this time, based on this enhanced review, 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,” MIT officials wrote in the letter.

“Most recently we have determined that engagements with certain countries – currently China [including Hong Kong], Russia and Saudi Arabia – merit additional faculty and administrative review beyond the usual evaluations that all international projects receive,” the letter adds.

The U.S. discovered last 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.  As a punishment, ZTE agreed to pay $1.7 billion in penalties.

Top executives at Huawei were arrested in Canada in December 2018 and charged with bank and wire fraud in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

A Huawei spokesperson said that the company is disappointed by MIT’s decision to cut ties. 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,” the spokesperson said.

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