Key players in world technology, the Chinese multinational ZTE and Huawei are on the hot seat. Though very present in Africa, the controversy which involves them is in the US and India.
The US suspects the two companies of spying in favor of China. An investigation has led to believe that the companies were relaying information of their product users or infrastructures to their government. The American government has taken up measures and has adviced network carriers not to do business with these two Chinese companies.
One could believe that Washington’s doubts are part of a strategy against the invasion of Chinese in the American market, but that wouldn’t be the case for India. The country is a big economical partner to China and thus would have no interest in creating possible tensions with Pekin. After an investigation led by the India secret services, a head at the Ministry of Telecommunications has declared that the government has set up a laboratory in Bengalore to test the ZTE and Huawei equipment.
What about Africa?
If these allegations are true, then Africa would be a pot of gold of information for Pekin. The two Chinese giants are very active in Africa, as they have contrats with several telecommunications operators. They are involved in almost all of the technological city projects. Huawei is part of the Konza City (Kenya) project and Hope City (Ghana). ZTE is involved in Ethio ICT (Ethiopia), to name a few.
The firms are also privileged partners of African states in the creation of governmental technological systems such as the e-goverment project in Ghana by Huawei, as well as the e-justice project in Tanzania by ZTE.
So if these allegations were true, then African countries would truly be exposed. As the continent is highly dependent of the West financially, if it began to give its data and information to the East, it would have nothing.
Do you believe these Chinese franchises could be a danger for Africa?