China is attempting to sabotage nations' digital infrastructure through coercion
China is attempting to sabotage the digital infrastructure of nations unconcerned about Beijing's growing threat, according to Voice Against Autocracy.
BEIJING: China is attempting to sabotage the digital infrastructure of nations unconcerned about Beijing's growing threat, according to Voice Against Autocracy.
According to the report, China's technological expansion is being led by Chinese firms that have taken over global surveillance around the world, according to Voice Against Autocracy.
The Chinese Communist Party has funded Chinese telecommunications firms such as Huawei, Hikvision, ZTE Corps, and others over the last decade.
The report by Voice Against Autocracy says, "China with its peculiar objectives is attempting to bypass the obstacle of convincing nations to entrust its rise but, on the contrary, is rather on the path of using coercive means to sabotage the digital infrastructure of nations that are least concerned about the rising Chinese threat."
According to the report, Huawei controls approximately 30% of the global telecom infrastructure market and has received 91 contracts from various cities worldwide to develop 5G networks.
The Chinese state apparatus has been encouraging technological firms to expand globally in areas such as cyber security, digital surveillance, AI-enabled facial recognition, and others.
In recent years, the Chinese Communist Party has approved subsidies totalling up to $75 billion for Huawei and $694 million for Hikvision.
According to the report, China's subsidies to companies such as Huawei and Hikvision have led "many to suspect that a global tech takeover is part of the CCP's global vision of dominance."
Because of government subsidies, these companies can sell their equipment for up to 30% less than their competitors, causing market disruption.
According to the report, the most concerning aspect of Chinese tech companies' expansion has been the security threat they pose to the host country.
Recently, the United States designated five of these prominent Chinese firms as a serious threat to national security, prompting many countries to cancel contracts with these companies.
ZTE Corps, Hikvision, and Huawei are among the companies mentioned in the US list.
A significant portion of the threat stems from China's internal legislation, which has made it mandatory for these companies to provide any type of data that the CCP will raise demand for.
The National Intelligence Law of China, enacted in 2017, requires citizens and domestic institutions to assist the government in gathering intelligence in matters deemed necessary by the state.
For the CCP, it is an effort to gather vital and sensitive data that could give it an advantage over other nations.
According to the report, Huawei's 'Safe City' initiative "concerns the automation of policing through a video camera and other digitalized technologies."
The technology allows for the monitoring and identification of suspicious activities in the area. The 'Smart City initiative' allows the use of video surveillance technology to help local governments automate municipal operations.
The Voice Against Autocracy report shows that surveillance and technology experts claim that Huawei's technology frequently fails vulnerability tests and is vulnerable to backdoor meddling.
According to the report, Huawei has completed around 160 Smart City projects in 100 countries, which pose a national security threat and are a direct infringement on national sovereignty.
A Washington-based think tank recently claimed that Huawei was making strides in the cloud infrastructure sector. The company has signed 70 agreements with 41 countries to establish a mechanism to facilitate technological infrastructure.
These deals are mostly with developing countries that have been attracted by China's financing, and the agreements are mostly confidential, according to Voice Against Autocracy.
According to the report, Chinese President Xi Jinping's idea of creating a "digital silk route predominantly led by China and its companies" is driving China's technological reforms.
The concept poses serious threats to various nations' digital sovereignty that have accepted projects introduced by Chinese companies such as Huawei and others.
These have an impact on the parent country's digital autonomy and give Chinese entities the ability to shut down entire systems built by CCP-run firms.
Many countries have begun to recognise the threat posed by Chinese technological advancements; however, many countries continue to rely on Chinese firms.
According to the report, Africa has been heavily reliant on Chinese technology for overall development, with Huawei subsidiaries and partnering firms owning up to 70% of the African continent's 4G network.
Southeast and West Asian countries have begun to digitalize using Chinese technologies. European nations have become entangled in these projects, which endanger the countries involved.