Huawei paranoia blocks company from key markets

Apparently the Chinese telecoms company Huawei is now developing tools for the Chinese government to commit cyber-espionage in Africa, according to an article.

Motherboard speculates that Huawei’s expansion into the African continent is nothing to do with finding a market which appreciates cheap over expensive.

It claims Huawei is wiring up the whole of Africa so that Chinese spooks can spy on the continent. But it ignores the equally rapid expansion of companies from other companies, for example, India.

Motherboard‘s sole evidence is that US politicians have labelled Huawei a national security threat. After all – US politicans get it right everytime.

Because of that ruling, which has been ignored in other more civilised parts of the world, Huawei’s efforts investing billions of dollars in Africa over the last 20 years and providing affordable mobiles, internet access, and telecommunications networks is sinister.

US paranoia about Africa appears to be getting worse. Over the last few months Huawei has closed major deals in Africa to get more areas on the grid and these too are supposed to be about spying.

Motherboard quotes former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden, who has repeatedly raised warning flags about Huawei’s suspected espionage.

But in an interview he accidently revealed what all these spying accusations are actually about.

He insists that Chinese companies see themselves in global economic competition with the United States, and they see real advantages of at least having the possibility of exploiting African networks in the future.

In other words, all of this paranoia is more about shutting China out of markets that America and American corporations would quite like to own. Cheaper Huawei tech makes this difficult.

US allegations have focused on Huawei supplying back-end telecommunications equipment – wi-fi routers, mobile networks, communications hardware to a third of the world. This is the sort of gear where it’s a doddle to provide back doors.

The US would know that. It does exactly the same sort of thing to its own citizens, so it is probably guilty of projecting onto Huawei.

“Even if there aren’t any backdoors, which is a large hypothesis, just the Chinese state having access to the architecture of your system is a tremendous advantage for the Chinese should they want to engage in any electronic surveillance, any electronic eavesdropping,” Hayden said.

Then why would giving your infrastructure to Cisco be any different? Given that the US has indicated that it is cheerfully willing to spy on its allies, why would anyone buy US gear either?

As we wrote earlier this week, the accusations directed at Huawei are astoundingly hypocritical to begin with – considering what we know the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand have been getting up to.