Cambridge University ‘received “generous gift” from Chinese software giant with links to country’s spy agency’ to fund engineering fellowship
- Cambridge University has followed Oxford in being linked with China’s Tencent
- Software firm with links to China’s communist regime gave ‘gift’ to the university
- The ‘generous gift’ helped Cambridge to fund research into quantum computers
Cambrigde University is said to have received a ‘generous gift,’ from a Chinese software giant with links to the country’s community spy agency, in order to fund an engineering fellowship.
Financial backing from Tencent funded research into quantum computers under Cambridge’s Dowling postdoctoral research fellowship.
Quantum computers are state-of-the-art tech that are able to solve problems that would be impossible for standard devices.
Cambridge University announced it had received a ‘generous gift,’ from Tencent in 2019, to fund a fellowship researching quantum computers
News of the ‘generous gift,’ comes amid outrage that Oxford will rename its prestigious professorship of physics after the Chinese company in return for a £700,000 donation.
Yesterday The Daily Mail revealed The Wykeham chair of physics, which was established in 1900 and comes with a fellowship at 14th-century New College, will be known as the Tencent-Wykeham chair in honour of the computing conglomerate, Oxford sources revealed.
CIA sources have claimed that when Tencent was founded it received money and support from the Ministry of State Security, China’s main intelligence agency. A Pentagon report last month said it has been working closely with Chinese security agencies on AI.
Tencent owns the WeChat communications app, popular with millions of Chinese emigres to keep in touch with home.
The conglomerate denies that it received intelligence funding, saying its finances were ‘transparent’. It rejects accusations of wrongdoing.
According to The Times, Cambridge announced it had received a ‘generous gift’ from Tencent in 2019 to fund a five-year postdoctoral research fellowship in the department of engineering
Jesus College at Cambridge has ties to the company too.
It has hosted the Yidan Prize Conference: Europe on three occasions, the award offers a prize $3.9mllion from Charles Chen Yidan, one of Tencent’s founding members.
CIA sources have claimed that when Tencent was founded it received money and support from the Ministry of State Security, China’s main intelligence agency
MailOnline has approached Cambridge University for comment.
A Tencent spokesman said: ‘Tencent seeks to be a good corporate citizen wherever it operates, including through philanthropic efforts.
‘Our philanthropic efforts are just that, and are conducted transparently, in good faith and without conditions.
‘We have deep respect for the rich history and innovative future of the UK’s higher education establishments, and are pleased to support their missions of learning, teaching and research.’
We are also proud of our long-standing and strategic partnerships with a wide range of UK innovators, businesses, and creative and cultural leaders. We look forward to working together with them to innovate, grow – including in China – and fulfill their global aspirations.
An Oxford University spokesman told the Daily Mail: ‘The University has a rigorous due diligence process and Tencent has been approved as an appropriate donor by our independent Committee to Review Donations, which includes independent, external representatives.
‘We have a very clear position on academic independence from donations. Our donors have no say in setting the research and teaching programmes of the posts they fund, nor do they have any access to the
More than 80 ‘high risk’ Chinese academics at Oxford are working in sensitive fields with potential military applications, think-tank claims
More than 80 ‘high risk’ Chinese students were last year working in sensitive fields with potential military applications at Oxford University, a think-tank has claimed.
They had all previously attended institutions closely linked with the People’s Liberation Army and Chinese intelligence services, it said.
The Henry Jackson Society’s survey – which covers Britain’s 35 top-ranked universities – found that there were 669 Chinese nationals who attended army-linked universities in their homeland who are now pursuing subjects such as nuclear physics, aerospace engineering, high-tech material science and quantum computing in the UK.
More than 80 ‘high risk’ Chinese students were last year working in sensitive fields with potential military applications at Oxford University, a think-tank has claimed. Pictured: Ling Ge, Tencent’s chief European representative, who earned a PhD from Oxford
Some attended elite universities in China known as the ‘Seven Sons of National Defence’, because of their closeness to the military, and the scale of their military research projects. Other universities have also been classified as ‘very high risk’ or ‘high risk’ over security fears, by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a research unit.
All have military-funded laboratories and research projects, and some have been publicly cited in espionage cases in courts abroad.
The disclosure comes after the Daily Mail revealed yesterday that Oxford has agreed to rename the prestigious Wykeham professorship of physics the Tencent-Wykeham chair, for a donation of £700,000 from the Chinese gaming, internet and software giant Tencent.
The technology giant is said to have a close relationship with China’s intelligence services.
British citizen Ling Ge, Tencent’s chief European representative, has a PhD in quantum computing research from Oxford. She has declined to comment on why her company is sponsoring the Oxford chair. It is not known whether she played a part in negotiating the grant.
The think-tank study was based on Freedom of Information requests. It found that at Oxford, there were 16 Chinese nationals working in highly sensitive fields who went to one of the Seven Sons universities. A further 22 went to the ‘very high risk’ institutions and 44 to ‘high risk’ ones.
In all, the report said there were 100 Chinese nationals working in sensitive fields at Oxford – far more than at any other university. Second was Manchester with 56. There were 50 at Cambridge.
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