by Benjamin Zeisloft
A Huawei employee allegedly ghostwrote an op-ed on behalf of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, who defended Huawei’s ties with American universities, according to a report from the Washington Free Beacon.
In 2019, Nicholas Negroponte — the co-founder of the MIT Media Lab — wrote a defense of the Chinese company’s partnership with MIT and other post-secondary institutions. He argued that the United States “should collaborate with leading technology companies and their research labs, rather than banning them.”
“An official ban of the use of Chinese telecommunications equipment by U.S. companies might come in the form of a ‘national emergency’ based on an ‘extraordinary threat,’” wrote Negroponte.
Wright’s profile description states that he composes “op-eds, speeches, and other editorial content for senior executives at a global technology company.” His professional experience includes “content strategy” at Huawei. Wright’s profile also includes professional endorsements from two individuals who indicated they worked with Wright at Huawei.
Negroponte’s op-ed was linked under his current position in “content strategy” at Huawei, according to a screen recording obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Campus Reform has been unable to independently verify the screen recording.
In early 2019, the United States Department of Justice issued a thirteen-count indictment against Huawei. Charges included bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said in a Department of Justice press release that “Huawei and its Chief Financial Officer broke U.S. law and have engaged in a fraudulent financial scheme that is detrimental to the security of the United States.” She affirmed her agency’s commitment to “ensure that legitimate economic activity is not exploited by our adversaries.”
MIT officially cut ties with Huawei two months after the Department of Justice announced the charges.
“MIT is not accepting new engagements or renewing existing ones with Huawei and ZTE or their respective subsidiaries due to federal investigations regarding violations of sanction restrictions,” wrote MIT Vice President for Research Maria Zuber to faculty.
Campus Reform has reported on countless examples of Chinese Communist Party encroachment on American university campuses. Recently, MIT professor Gang Chen was arrested after failing to disclose his ties to China while applying for federal research grants.
Campus Reform reached out to Negroponte and MIT for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
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