The Prince’s Trust has announced it will no longer accept donations from Huawei amid mounting security concerns about the Chinese firm’s technology.
The charity, founded by Prince Charles in 1976 to help vulnerable young people, said it had made the decision “in light of public concerns”. In a statement, the Prince’s Trust said: “At present, we are not accepting new donations from Huawei in light of public concerns. Future donations will continue to be reviewed by our Ethical Fundraising Committee.”
Since 2007, the Prince’s Trust has received £490 000 in donations from Huawei, the charity confirmed.
The company, which supported the Prince’s Trust’s Winter Concert for the ninth year in 2018, was made a patron in 2016. “They will remain a patron until all current commitments have been delivered and this is reflective of the support they have provided to help young people,” the charity added.
In response, Huawei said it regretted the charity’s decision. “We were disappointed to hear this news from the trust, as we have the greatest respect for the excellent work it does with young people,” a Huawei spokeswoman said. “We are proud of our 10-year partnership and of course hope we can work together again in the future. We regret that decisions of this sort are being taken as a result of ill-informed and unfounded discourse about Huawei.”
The move comes a week after Oxford University became the first notable UK institution to pull the plug on funding from the world’s second biggest smartphone maker.
No new funding
Existing research contracts already received or committed with Huawei will go ahead, but the university will not pursue new funding opportunities with the company.
Huawei’s latest setback follows comments by British defence secretary Gavin Williamson, who previously raised “very deep concerns” about the Chinese company’s involvement in the UK’s roll-out of 5G.
In December, the head of MI6, Alex Younger, said the UK would have to make “some decisions” about such firms after other governments had taken steps to block Huawei.
Huawei was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former officer in the People’s Liberation Army, leading to questions about possible improper links to the Chinese state, something Huawei has always denied.
Zhengfei carried out a rare interview earlier week in which he was quoted as saying he had never been asked to share “improper information”.