Saturday, December 17, 2016

Huawei in Africa: Burkina Faso, Perceptions & Perspectives

Huawei continues to rapidly expand in Africa with fiber optic placement and cyber product distribution. Huawei’s products sold in Africa have a direct link back to mainland China; as with their cell phone app: WeChat. Huawei’s marketing tactics to governments have raised ethical questions and charges of undue influence.
  • Huawei has been operating in Africa for 17 years.
  • Huawei began selling low quality cell phones in Africa, but has expanded and upgraded product sales and its fiber optic network wires much of cyber monopoly in Africa.
  • Parliament officials in Burkina Faso have openly accepted free Huawei tablets in a clear conflict of interest situation.
Huawei will continue to grow in Africa so long as it delivers quality products and services at low costs to consumer and governmental markets. Its efforts may be undermined by practices such as the tablet incident in Burkina Faso, reinforcing the idea that it is using its economic strength to buy political power. African public opinion and trust, even among African consumers anxious to get their hands on the latest smartphone, are hard to rebuild once they have been compromised. This information is being supplied for your situational awareness.

Publication Date: 11 December 2016
Handling Requirements: Traffic light protocol (TLP) GREEN
Attribution/Threat Actors: Huawei/Chinese government and military influence
Actor Type: Adversary capabilities have been assessed as Tier III
Potential Targets: African markets and government
Past Reporting: DOC-4455, DOC-2183, Msgs #9367 & #5060