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Sunday, December 4, 2022

China's Tech Outreach in the Middle East and North Africa - The Diplomat

Last updated Thursday, November 17, 2022 11:05 ET , Source: TopWireNews

The Middle East and North Africa region has become a hub for Chinese technological outreach. Over the years, Chinese entities have invested heavily in MENA’s railways, ports, and the energy sector. However, absent an internet connection, software, and cybersecurity, much of this architecture would not be able to operate effectively.
Enter Chinese Big Tech.
Huawei provides communication technology for Morocco’s national railway system (ONCF), has constructed a logistics center at Tangier Med Port, and was involved in building and launching the Marrakesh Safe City project. Roughly 7,000 kilometers away, the UAE’s Cybersecurity Council inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Huawei at the GISEC 2022 cybersecurity conference in Dubai to collaborate in strengthening local cyber strategies. Meanwhile, governments and telecom companies in eight MENA countries have been working with Huawei to trial, develop, and roll out 5G. In 2021, Huawei committed to pumping $15 million into the Middle East’s cloud computing market.
And that’s just one Chinese company out of dozens active in MENA.
Unlike traditional Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects that are often led by state-owned enterprises (SOEs), this Digital Silk Road (DSR) is being spearheaded by private tech companies that are primarily profit-driven.
Efforts by MENA nations to digitize and diversify their economies have made them attractive markets for these Chinese firms to expand their presence abroad. Draws for companies...



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