Oxford University will rename its Wykeham Chair of Physics after Tencent, a Chinese Communist Party-linked tech firm, following a nearly $1,000,000 donation.
The professorship, established in 1900 and conjoined with a fellowship at 14th-century college, will now be known as the Tencent-Wykeham chair in honour of the computing conglomerate, The Daily Mail reported.
“Last night, as two former Cabinet ministers urged Oxford to reconsider, it became clear the decision has set the university on a collision course with its own most senior official,” the outlet added.
Tencent has extensive ties to the Chinese government as noted by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.
It described Tencent as a “tool of the Chinese government,” noting the company has “no meaningful ability to tell the Chinese Communist Party ‘no’ if officials decide to ask for their assistance.”
Tencent also provides “a foundation of technology-facilitated surveillance and social control” as part of the CCP’s broader crusade “to shape the world consistent with its authoritarian model,” the report added.