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The Powerful Symbolism of The Huawei-Built Data Center Deal in Senegal

President Macky Sall together with China's Ambassador to Senegal commission a new Chinese-financed and Huawei-built data center. Image via @ChineAmbassade.

U.S. and French media were surprisingly quiet about yesterday’s inauguration of a new national data center that was built with Chinese financing and equipped by Huawei. The new facility, located in Diamniadio outside of the capital Dakar, marks an important milestone in Africa. This is the first time that a country is fully replicating the Chinese data governance model that requires all servers to be located within a country’s borders, providing the state with full access to the information.

The online outrage that is typically triggered in the U.S. by China, Huawei, and anything related to Beijing’s steadily expanding influence in the Global South was noticeably quiet. In fact, not a single U.S. news outlet even carried the story, not even republishing the lone piece of international coverage from Reuters.

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