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Huawei’s $111 Million AI Investment Aims to Shape European Policy and Curricula

By Dave Yin / Nov 07, 2019 03:33 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Amid embargos on tech sales and purchases in the U.S., Huawei Technologies is moving to capitalize on sustained European goodwill.

The Chinese tech giant announced an investment of 100 million euros ($111 million) over five years in artificial intelligence (AI) to expand its role in shaping the region’s AI regulations, inject courses and events that center on its products into universities and developer communities, and sell more of its technology through third-party vendors.

In AI regulation, ethics and security, Huawei wants to work with the European AI Alliance and European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the company said in a statement. It also wants to partner with the Big Data Value Association, an industry body that lobbies the European Commission on AI, to work on public-private partnership and vertical industry development using the technology.

AI courses that Huawei is designing for universities and research institutes focus on its “Ascend” portfolio of AI training chips, servers and clusters, as well as basic AI theory, algorithm model development and applications, the company said. In addition, it will establish joint labs and publish teaching materials.

The plan will help “industry organizations, 200,000 developers, 500 ISV (independent software vendor) partners, and 50 universities and research institutes to boost innovation,” Jiang Tao, vice president of the company’s intelligent computing unit, said in the statement.

The U.S. government’s efforts to oust Huawei from global markets have been frustrated by European nations including the U.K., Portugal, Germany and Switzerland, which have either signed up for the company’s telecom equipment or refused to commit to a ban. A mobile service provider in New Zealand, a country thought to have also barred Huawei, announced last week it is pilot testing a private 5G network built with the Chinese supplier.

Huawei’s opaque ties to the Chinese state have led to accusations that the company could leverage its overseas telecom infrastructure for espionage purposes, claims that the company denies and Beijing slams as “politically motivated.”

Contact reporter Dave Yin (davidyin@caixin.com)

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