Despite several European governments having banned Huawei from their telecommunications networks, the European Union is providing funding to the Chinese company to carry out cutting-edge research on next-generation communication systems.
Huawei’s involvement in multiple sensitive projects, ranging from artificial intelligence to 6G to cloud computing, has raised concerns about Europe’s security and technological autonomy.
Huawei receives EU funding for key research projects
The Financial Times has identified Huawei as a participant in 11 projects funded by the EU’s flagship Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. This implies that the company has received up to 14% of the total financing, equivalent to 3.89 million euros.
Huawei’s presence in these investigations is more relevant than the value of the funding, as it puts the company at the center of sensitive technologies in Europe, despite efforts by some countries to exclude “high-risk vendors.” » of the 5G infrastructure.
Contradictory moves in the EU
Some analysts have expressed concern that Huawei’s involvement in these projects could undermine data security in Europe and hinder the EU’s ambition to remain self-sufficient in developing critical technology infrastructure.
The inclusion of the Chinese company in research involving sensitive technologies has generated surprise and questions about the selection and evaluation process of the participants.
Although countries such as the UK, Denmark and Sweden have taken steps to block Huawei from their telecommunications networks, the company’s involvement in EU-funded projects shows a contradiction in the moves of the European Union. Portugal is also considering blocking Huawei from building its 5G core network. The European Commission has warned that it might be necessary to legislate against the participation of high-risk groups in 5G projects if other EU countries do not tighten their national rules.
Analysts point out that these collaborations reveal Europe’s dependence on Huawei in the near term and raise questions about the continent’s ability to do without the company in the near future.
In addition to the 11 Horizon Europe projects, Huawei is also involved in two other programs related to 6G, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. The European Commission has indicated that this participation represents less than 1% of the total funding of research programmes.
Responses from Huawei and project coordinators
Huawei has claimed that it has participated in more than 30 EU research and development programs since 2007. The company maintains that its participation in Horizon Europe has been independently assessed by EU-selected experts and officially approved.
The coordinators of the projects in which Huawei participates have mentioned the experience and suitability of the company to support the objectives of each initiative.