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China, Africa and the Internet, Again

Credit: Christian Triebert / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa recently discussed African elections and, not surprisingly, the conversation became about China. 

The lawmakers latched on to a narrative that the Chinese Communist Party is actively trying to use Chinese technology provision to foster authoritarianism on the continent. There are indeed worries about the way some African governments are using the internet to crack down on opposition, and the prominence of companies like Huawei as technology providers draws China into the discussion. But this week’s hearings revealed a narrative largely woven together of half-truths and overstatements. 

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