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New Allegations That China Spied on the AU Spark a Flashback to Similar Accusations in 2018

Exterior of the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP

Reuters’ exclusive report that suspected Chinese hackers penetrated the African Union’s IT networks to siphon off data prompted many to think “uh oh, here we go again,” and recalling similar accusations back in 2018.

In 2018, the French newspaper Le Monde published a report that was also later confirmed by the Financial Times that Chinese entities had allegedly inserted so-called “back doors” on the AU’s computer network. For five years, according to those reports, massive data dumps took place at night, with countless files purportedly transferred from the AU HQ in Addis to servers located in Shanghai.

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