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Africa further embraces China's Huawei as it battles Trump onslaught

Africa further embraces China's Huawei as it battles Trump onslaught

Ethiopia

<p><strong>The African Union (AU) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei to strengthen their cooperation in information and communication technologies, the Chinese telecom giant announced on Friday.</strong></p> <p>“The main objective of the <span class="caps">MOU</span> is to strengthen their partnership in the following 5 areas: broadband, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, 5G and artificial intelligence,” Huawei said in a statement. </p> <p>The development comes at a time when Huawei is at the heart of the trade war between the United States and China.</p> <p>The company was placed in May by Washington on a list of suspicious companies to which American entities cannot sell technological equipment.</p> <p>The Trump administration suspects the Shenzhen group of spying for Beijing. China responded on Friday by announcing the creation of its own blacklist of “unreliable” foreign companies.</p> <p>The agreement between Huawei and the AU follows a previous Memorandum of Understanding signed in February 2015.</p> <p>“This collaboration demonstrates the African Union’s continued confidence in Huawei,” said Philippe Wang, Vice President of the Chinese Group for North Africa.</p> <p>“Through this approach, we also want to put an end to rumours of data leaks from Huawei equipment, as the AU has carried out a full audit of its IT system throughout the organisation, and the findings contradict the statements made in the media last year,” he added.</p> <p>In 2018, the French newspaper Le Monde reported that China had spied on the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, citing sources within the African institution.</p> <p>According to the daily, the information theft had been taking place since 2012, when the construction of the brand new AU building, donated by China, was completed.</p> <p>The President of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, had denounced “totally false allegations”.</p> <p>According to Le Monde, the AU’s servers had been changed in 2017, when the system flaw was discovered, and a new IT architecture deployed.</p> <p>As Africa’s largest trading partner, China invests several billion dollars annually on the continent in infrastructure (roads, railways, ports) and industrial parks.</p>
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