Skip to content

Why is China Bugging the AU?

A recent report that Chinese hackers secretly redirected surveillance footage from the African Union headquarters so it could be viewed abroad is part of a larger pattern by Chinese networks to electronically infiltrate key communication channels in Africa, experts say. The report in December by the Reuters news agency alleged that prior to the 33rd AU Summit last February, a Japanese cybersecurity firm alerted AU technicians of the security breach. There have also been recent reports of governments such as Uganda and Rwanda targeting dissidents and their supporters by hacking into their WhatsApp and Skype accounts with the help of Chinese tech giant Huawei. China has been accused of spying on the AU before. In 2018, the French newspaper Le Monde reported that China had installed listening devices in the headquarters. The report alleged that servers in the AU headquarters were secretly sending data to a computer system in Shanghai each night between midnight and 2 a.m.