IEEE lifts restrictions on Huawei reviewers

ByParis Ba 2019-06-03 405

One of the world's leading scientific publishers is the newest entity to adhere to the U.S. trade ban on Huawei. The New York-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) has decided to ban scientists from the Chinese manufacturer from reviewing and verifying the publisher's technical documents.

In a statement addressed to its nearly 200 editors, the IEEE said it feared the serious legal consequences of continuing to work with Huawei scientists to review their documents. Although these scientists may continue to serve on the institution's editorial boards, they cannot have access to any documents until the U.S. ban is lifted.

In addition, Huawei scientists can continue to participate in various activities of society, such as conferences, submitting articles to IEEE journals, and participating in administrative meetings of the agencies to which they belong. What they cannot do is access any technical information that is part of a scientific publication.

Huawei still in freefall

The news has caused a great stir within the Chinese scientific community, who have expressed their indignation at the IEEE measure, describing it as "arbitrary". Nanotechnology researcher Haixia Zhang decided to withdraw from the IEEE editors' committee in protest of the decision. In this sense, the scientist wrote in a letter to the editorial:

I joined IEEE as a Ph.D. student because it is recognized as an international academic platform in electronic engineering (...) But this message is challenging my professional integrity. I have decided to give up the editorial boards (of two IEEE journals) until I restore our common professional integrity.

Right now, Huawei is in one of its most difficult moments, with several key partners in its supply chain giving up their business ties to stick to the U.S. ban. However, there is not much the company can do to reverse these decisions, and there is only hope that the presidents of China and the U.S. can offer each other a truce that solves this crisis.

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