back to article Huawei's hidden hand in optics research contest shocks scholars

Huawei sponsored an optics technology research competition run by the Optica Foundation, and donated at least a million dollars to the organization. The competition in question is the Optica Foundation Challenge, which awards $100,000 each to ten winners. Since it began in 2022, it has been funded solely by Huawei, according …

  1. cornetman Silver badge

    I don't really understand your position in this story. When asked if they were a sponsor, Huawei replied yes. There was no cover-up or conspiracy.

    Not making a big song or dance about it is not the same as "keeping it under wraps". I understand that Americans like to brag openly about everything under the sun, but the rest of the world is not like that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I understand that Americans like to brag openly about everything under the sun

      But if you don't advertise your philanthropy then you can't get tax relief on it, you don't get invited onto TV, or get paid the make ads or get a guest speaker slot on a lecture tour junket or...

      In other words, you would just be giving money away without a chance to get back more. Which totally unamerican, it is is just as bad as Communism, and must be rooted out!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > When asked if they were a sponsor, Huawei replied yes. There was no cover-up or conspiracy.

      Because sometimes, denying a hard fact is more damaging than admitting it and claiming its irrelevance.

      > I understand that Americans like to brag openly about everything under the sun, but the rest of the world is not like that.

      Oh evil Murica... innocent victimized China.

      1. Zolko Silver badge

        @Anonymous Coward

        Oh evil Murica... innocent victimized China

        Are you the same AC that writes lower down:

        All comments vilifying... "Murica"

        Is this "Murica" the new propaganda line that the Hollywood marketing machine has come-up with ? I'm sorry to say that it doesn't sound convincing and I'd suggest to try better. Nobody outside of "Murica" ever calls that "Murica". But I guess you don't care as this propaganda line is actually targeted at "Muricans" who might think – if we're to believe you – that the rest of the world hates "Muricans" because of your freedoms

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Anonymous Coward

          Yes.. jealousy is the word you're looking for. From all these Murica-haters who would kill for a green card. I cam see that everyday, believe it or not.

          That's how "hard" I can try. Happy?

          1. m4r35n357 Silver badge

            Re: @Anonymous Coward

            Yeah, deep down we all want to get shot.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Numbers vs rant

              Immigrants and their U.S.-born children number approximately 90 millions in the USA in 2023 (i.e 27% of pop). Apparently they were more worried about being shot in their countries of origin than in the USA. So keep on dodging bullets wherever you are at the moment and everybody will be happy with their choice and opportunities.

              1. m4r35n357 Silver badge

                Re: Numbers vs rant

                About 30 people per year are murdered by guns where I live (out of about 70 million). It is utter carnage.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Numbers vs rant

                  Which confirms my initial point: the UK being at the same time one of the most "hated" countries by West-haters on social networks, yet a top migrant destination (legal or not) in real life.

                  BTW: ~700,000 Brits in the USA.

    3. Falmari Silver badge
      Devil

      @cornetman "I don't really understand your position in this story."

      I agree this story appears to be sensationalist. Only the sponsor of the competition Huawei was not announced. But it is no secret that Huawei are in the top tier $1,000,000+ of donations to the Foundation, it's published in their annual report and on their website. There are 14 entries in the top tier* and contrary to the article both Google and Meta are in the top tier.

      It looks like it was not that secret that one of the selection committee was Xiang Liu, Huawei Technologies, China, that's how he is listed on the website**.

      The competition is not restricted to US entries as only 3 of the 10 winners both in 2022 and 2023 were from the US. And what does Huawei have to gain from a competition that is only open to research that is to be published.

      *Coherent Corp.

      Corning Inc.

      Elsa M. Garmire and Robert H. Russell

      Google LLC

      Huawei Technologies Co.,Ltd

      Innolight Technology USA Inc

      Intel Corporation

      Janet S. Fender and John L. Otten

      Lumentum

      Menlo Systems GmbH

      Meta Platforms Inc.

      Elizabeth Rogan

      Source Photonics

      Thorlabs Inc.

      ** Maybe the website was quickly changed in the few hours after the Bloomberg story was published to add Huawei after Xiang Liu's name.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        I agree this story appears to be sensationalist. Only the sponsor of the competition Huawei was not announced. But it is no secret that Huawei are in the top tier $1,000,000+ of donations to the Foundation, it's published in their annual report and on their website.

        Personally, and being in the trade, I think it's a bigger scandal that some names aren't on the list of sponsors. But then companies like Cisco and Juniper have never really been deeply into optics. But then I'm also reminded of a documentary I saw over a decade ago now with a US course in optics at I think MIT that didn't have a single US student. It's also one field where the UK does some world-leading research, eg this chap won this year's Tyndall Award-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Richardson_(physicist)

        as one of Southampton University's ORCs. Also does interesting things with incoherent light, or non-linear optics as I think they prefer to call it. But despite being core technology for our information age, they could use more funding for both research and exploiting the fruits of some of that research. If the UK or US don't, then China will.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Optical Society of America" --> "The Optical Society" --> "Optica/Optica Foundation"?

    Interesting transition. Wonder what drove it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optica_(society)

  3. Zibob Bronze badge
    Black Helicopters

    Shock, horror, how could we have known!?

    And what will poor defenceless America do about it?

    I mean how do you expect someone as feeble as the land of the free to no be able to monitor everything going on in their country (which they care ever so much about) when they have to monitor china. How could they have known!

    Well I guess homeland security failed, close the borders, RED ALERT, DEFCON1, THE REDS ARE UNDER THE BED! IT'S ALL OVER PEOPLE WE HAVE NO PRAYER!

    clownshoes

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Shock, horror, how could we have known!?

      Its really a case of "Do as I say, not as I do". One glaring example of this is that our (US) news currently features opposition to a law being debated in Georgia about the registration of foreign agents, something that apparently the EU and US are opposed to etc etc. This is obviously not 'our' Georgia because we already have this type of statue on the books, one that's not only enforced but people get fined and even jailed for violating. Its the one 'over there' which I rather suspect 99% of Americans couldn't find on a map.

      So it is with everything else. American corporations and foundations -- even the US government, directly and indirectly -- sponsors research all over the world, apparently for the most innocent of motives. But apparently anyone doing the same here, that's obviously got nefarious motives, the sort of thing we'd never dream of doing. Its also telling that we keep on referring to other countries as "allies" -- they're not, its more like "vassals". This kind of zero sum mindset is highly destructive -- unless we can shake ourselves out of it we'll find it has done us permanent damage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shock, horror, how could we have known!?

        Buddy, US does it in the name of freedom. Anybody else is a stinking commie/nazi/terrist....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "US government is no stranger to upgrading sanctions"

    At this point, I think the only thing left the US can do is ban Huawei from trading in the US (I'm pretty sure they don't do much in the US anymore anyway), and then liaise with their Allies to ban Huawei from trading in their coutries too (same thing I think).

    At which point I'm guessing China will do the same to Cisco et al.

    If that doesn't go far enough I wonder what will satisfy the US - identify all current and ex employees with a view to sanctioning them all personally, or terminating them with extreme prejudice? Maybe identify all Huawei factories world wide and destroy them with laser equipped satellites? Yes - I've watched "Under Siege 2" :)

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: "US government is no stranger to upgrading sanctions"

      Might be a good idea to stop US companies from working on 4G and 5G products, then they can avoid FRAND IP/patent transactions with Huawei...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "US government is no stranger to upgrading sanctions"

        I understand a pair of tin cans with string stretched between them are a pretty good communications device.

  5. David Newall

    How it looks

    The optics are not good

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here you go again... <yawn> damage control 101

    In the news: your daily article reporting Huawei/China getting caught red-handed... again.

    All comments vilifying... "Murica".

    Take Chinese citizenship guys... if you don't have it already.

  7. Strong as Taishan Mountains

    Does anyone helping to drum this stuff up ever y'know, touch grass or look at the real world?

    If the Chinese were that determined to undermine 'muh freedumbs' they could do no better than to sponsor the Congressional majority which busies itself passing censorship laws and banning tech companies they don't own..

    But you be you Westoids, keep telling us how scary the Yellow-Red Menace is as you help yourself to the public largesse over and over...

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