Opinion

US hype on China cyberthreats hurts Internet growth

Thursday, July 11th, 2024 01:30 | By
Image of the globe, used for representation. PHOTO/Pexels
Image of the globe, used for representation. PHOTO/Pexels

Recently, several Chinese agencies jointly released a report alleging that since 2023, the United States has been orchestrating a misinformation campaign centred on the group “Volt Typhoon”, with the aim of tarnishing China’s reputation on a global scale.

As early as April, the agencies exposed the scandal involving the US falsely attributing “Volt Typhoon” activities to China to further its geopolitical objectives.

The latest report implicates key US intelligence agencies such as the NSA and FBI, along with congressional figures known for their hardline stance on China, multiple federal agencies, and cybersecurity bodies from other Five Eyes countries. The aim was to manipulate public opinion and justify aggressive actions against China.

The US has failed to provide a satisfactory explanation after the report was release. The latest findings revealed that the US government pressured a cybersecurity company to alter its technical analysis, which originally classified “Volt Typhoon” as a ransomware group, a clumsy attempt to cover up the truth. The US should be upholding its responsibility and contribute constructively to maintaining peace and security in cyberspace.

China, as a global powerhouse in technology and the internet, wields immense influence over cyberspace. Ethical considerations in its internet governance are pivotal not only for domestic stability but also for international relations. 

One aspect often highlighted is China’s robust approach to cybersecurity, emphasising national security and safeguarding against cyberthreats. This includes stringent regulations on data privacy and protection, aimed at securing personal information and maintaining public trust in digital platforms.

China has made significant contributions to the growth of the internet globally through various avenues. Chinese companies like Huawei, Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi have become global leaders in telecommunications, e-commerce, social media, and mobile technology. They have developed advanced infrastructure, platforms, and services that have driven global connectivity and digital transformation. 

China’s massive population and growing middle class have created a lucrative market for internet services and digital products. This has incentivised global tech companies to innovate and adapt their offerings to cater to Chinese consumers, thereby expanding their global footprint.

Platforms like Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com have revolutionised global e-commerce by connecting Chinese manufacturers and consumers with markets worldwide. They have facilitated cross-border trade and enabled small businesses in China to reach international customers.

China’s adoption of mobile payment systems like Alipay and WeChat Pay has set global benchmarks for digital payment technology. These platforms have simplified transactions and accelerated the global shift towards cashless economies. China has invested heavily in internet infrastructure, including broadband networks and 5G technology. These advancements have improved global internet speeds and connectivity, benefiting both local users and international businesses.

Chinese companies are at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics. Their research and development efforts have contributed to advancements in AI applications across various industries globally, from healthcare to finance.

Chinese tech firms have made significant investments in international tech companies and startups. They have also formed partnerships and collaborations with global firms to jointly develop new technologies and expand market reach. 

As China continues to shape global internet governance, it has also focused on fostering trust, collaboration, and mutual understanding in the digital age.

— The writer is a PhD student in International Relations 

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