Huawei has signed more than a dozen separate funding agreements with the European Union despite the Chinese multinational being designated as a security risk, the European Commission has confirmed.
The EC has now confirmed that the EU had signed 13 separate funding agreements with Huawei as part of the Horizon Europe research programme.
This appears to be an upward revision of the 11 projects the Financial Times identified Huawei as being involved in earlier this year.
Speaking on the issue, EC Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager insisted the agreements were signed before Huawei was designated a “high-risk vendor”.
“The topics in which Huawei is participating were not identified at the time … as putting at risk the EU’s strategic assets, interests, autonomy or security,” she claimed.
Vestager also insisted that none of the projects directly involved “Huawei entities based in China”, but only their EU and UK branches.
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Her statements come after research by the Financial Times found that Huawei was heavily involved in sensitive cloud-computing, 6G and Artificial Intelligence projects run by the EU.
According to the paper, around €3.89 million was made available to Huawei through the 11 Horizon Europe deals it identified.
This has prompted questions from elected parliamentarians within the bloc, with Dutch MEP Bart Groothuis writing to the EC in late June to demand clarification.
EU officials have insisted that the 13 deals in question were all agreed upon as part of the 2021-2022 batch of Horizon Europe funding and that the bloc has taken a far more hardline approach to Huawei since then.
As part of this shift, the EC banned the corporation from taking part in the 5G projects controlled by Brussels back in June, with Eurocrats calling on the governments of individual Member States to follow suit.
Huawei has lashed out at the bloc’s hardening attitudes, insisting the EU’s decision to label it a “high-risk vendor” was “clearly not based on a verified, transparent, objective and technical assessment of 5G networks”.
It has also claimed that the move was “against the principles of free trade”.
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