Huawei's Eric Xu underlines the importance of academic freedom

Friday, June 29, 2018 — Mr Eric Xu, Huawei Deputy Chairman and Rotating Chairman has responded to allegations concerning the company's research partnerships with US universities outlined in the letter that was sent to the US secretary of education following the push from US congressmen, Jim Banks and Marco Rubio. Mr Xu underlined that academic freedom is the core value of modern universities.

"I've read from the press that two congressmen, Jim Banks and Marco Rubio, persuaded 26 congressmen to write a letter to their secretary of education in the United States.

To me, I think that the two congressmen are quite closed-minded and ill-informed.

It seems that their bodies are in the information age, but their minds are still in the agrarian age.

Their behavior shows not just an ignorance of how science and innovation works today, but also their own lack of confidence.

We all know that academic freedom is the core value of modern universities.

And it is also the cornerstone of higher education in the US.

It is because of the very academic freedom and open atmosphere that US universities are able to attract the bright minds to study and to do research in universities across the US.

The ability of American universities to maintain their academic freedom in an open approach is a crucial factor behind the development and strength of the US as a nation.

We know that universities primarily work on basic science research. From basic science research to commercial application, it is a long, arduous journey.

It often takes decades or even hundreds of years of effort in research and development to translate science or theories into something that is available in the market.

We all know that science has no national borders.

Everybody in the world is learning and using Newton's Three Laws of Motion.

I don't know whether these two congressmen have ever learned them or used them.

I don't know whether somebody feels that learning or using these laws of motion poses any kind of national security threat to the UK.

Universities need to work together with businesses to address the big problems faced by humanity and benefit everyone in society.

Huawei's engagement and collaboration with universities is also founded on a collective vision to drive the advancement of science, technology, and the industry. We want to contribute our part as universities continue to serve as the beacon of human civilization.

The research findings from universities through our joint partnerships have been shared openly throughout the world – through dissertations and papers published by professors, PhD students, and postgraduate students.

Huawei does not have exclusive access to what comes out of these partnerships. We benefit, as everybody else does, from the general advancement of science and technology.

This approach of Huawei is widely recognized by universities around the world that we work with. They welcome enhanced partnerships with Huawei in this regard, in the form of more support in terms of facilities, equipment, and financial resources, so that together, we can work on and hopefully resolve the big problems faced by humanity.

I've also read from the press that certain Parliament members in Canada stood out and challenged the situation of this kind of joint partnerships. In that context, there was a letter, published by the Vice President of University of Toronto. I think he made very good points, which are more thorough than what I can share with you. I suggest that you take a look at the letter."

Tina Bielawska Public Affairs Director at
Yingying Li Huawei Technologies Spokesperson at Huawei Technologies