Why Zimbabwe should be wary of Huawei Technology

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Founded in 1987, Huawei has grown into the giant technology company we have come to know today. The Chinese company has become one of the leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies in the world. Coming second only to Samsung in the smartphone supplier game.

Its reach spans over 160 countries and Zimbabwe is no exception. In recent years Huawei technology and services have flooded our nation. Providing us with admittedly stylish and durable merchandise at reasonable prices.

Where the concern lies

As we all know not all that glitters is gold; serious security queries have been raised by various governments concerning Huawei’s suspected exploitation by China and the founder, Ren Zhengfei’s military background. Countries like U.S.A and Australia have flat-out banned Huawei from providing them with equipment for the highly anticipated 5G networks.

Legally China has the right to demand that tech companies like Huawei turn over useful information or provide the Chinese government with access to communications and technologies they own. This makes it hard to believe the company’s insistence of no government ties or third party interference.

The technology company clams it is privately owned by its employees through an Employee Shareholding Scheme. However, this fact just makes it harder to believe in their independence when one looks at China’s communist ideology.

As one of the world’s leading examples of communism. Many everyday people like Huawei employees are under the tight grip the nation’s Communist Party. Consequently, it would be problematic to ignore the probability that the company’s employees might just be more than happy to cooperate with the government.

In an interview with Forbes, U.S.A State Department cyber official, Robert Strayer spoke about how China uses data and technology, “…survey its citizens, to set up credit scores and to imprison more than I million people for their ethnic and religious background”. Strayer goes on to warn us, “It would be naïve to think that a country, given the influence it had over its companies, would act in ways that would treat our citizens better than it treats its own citizens”.

Why Zimbabweans should care

One might call this all hype and conspiracy created by America to discredit China, maybe- but hear me out. We all see the dynamics playing out within the circles of the world’s superpowers and think ‘that doesn’t concern us‘ and that is where I feel as a third world nation we fail ourselves. Yes, it will take us a bit longer to level up to 5G network unlike other nations but technology is propelling us forward none the less.

Considering Zimbabwe’s relationship with China, it would be crazy not to assume that our 5G revolution will be pioneered by Chinese technology. Now, this is where it gets scary and why as Zimbos we should care. Imagine our entire telecommunications at the mercy of a communist nation that demands nothing short of compliance.

A simple dispute or difference of opinion could result in our communications and internet networks disrupted. As our tumultuous past suggests that would be a disaster. Furthermore, with more devices become connected to the internet from self-driving cars to security systems it’s vital more than ever that internet connections be secure.

One might think that all this is farfetched, but I urge you to consider China’s espionage past. The Asian nation was at the centre of one of the most memorable cases of cyber-espionage back in 2012. The country hacked into UK defence firm BAE Systems to steal data about a $264 billion dollar-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet.

The fact that the 2012 incident wasn’t the first of its kind only show us how far China is willing to go to have its way. Hell, the UK’s decision to ban Huawei from its 5G network stirred up talks of possible retaliation in the form of a cyber-attack.

A Rock and A Hard Place

We need to think about these things to avoid being stuck between a rock and a hard place. The UK is facing the mammoth task of removing all Huawei equipment from their communications system which is costing them up to £2bn not to mention the time it will take.

As humble old Zimbos it is best we learn from this. We wouldn’t be able to simply cut ties like the UK did and replace everything. We most probably would find ourselves trapped in such a situation with no options.

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  1. Imi vanhu musadaro

    Firstly, check spellings and grammar.

    Secondly, you have provided no proof of Huawei government links, just allegations made by the UK and USA.

    Critically, you have forgetten that Huawei has taken billion dollar business from alternative suppliers who have interests in getting that business back. Some of those businesses are based in the same countries making these allegations. Is it a coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it.

    Finally, what would China benefit by hacking Zimbabweans? There are probably less than a handful of people who have the influence that would warrant spying. Those are the ones who should be worried perhaps. Otherwise, the rest of us have nothing of value, just “Kkk” messages…

    1. Hopper

      Companies in China are compelled to push the agenda of the CCP and if you don’t, it’s life imprisonment. Huawei is being propelled by Chinese gvt thru loans where Huawei is supplying equipment via the loans just like how Telone got their data center and expansion of the network.


      Made journalists f xaaa American prop

  2. Lurker234

    Because it is any different from American telecommunication companies who have been exposed as allowing the NSA to backdoors into their hardware and software?

    This is just a case of the pot calling the kettle black because the Americans were caught sleeping at the wheel and Huawei beat them to 5G, so this is the only tactic left for American companies to buy time to catch up to Huawei.

  3. Anonymous

    Huawei technology is way better than American Technology

    Lets remove the mentality/allegations that were brought up by the so called Donald Trump

    As Zimbabwe we really need companies like Huawei to even opening assembling plants here in Zimbabwe but in America they don’t even want to see them

    So in shona there is this saying inoti, “Batai pane hupenyu varume”

    1. Wu Mao

      “so called Donald Trump”… Does he have another name that only you know 😂? Look, we are in a tight spot but china is no golden ticket. If we have to do business with them, lets do it with our eyes wide open. Lets not fool ourselves into thinking they are our altruistic friends. They are out here for the bag, the influence and the data sets to feed their machines.

    2. Hopper

      You are day dreaming of you think Chinese companies can open an assembly plant. The Chinese can actually bring their own labor, look at Zimasco and the Chinese are taking Chrome Ore to China. Wake up and smell the coffee

      5G is 5G, the difference is the type(Low, Medium or High). Ericsson and Nokia supply 5G kits that are better than Huawei. America does not have any company doing MNO equipment.

  4. Anonymous

    Have you been paid to write this?

    1. skedge

      Have you?

  5. Jack

    Eish, what nonsense masquerading as an article. Techzim yaparara. Google Snowden please if you want to worry about who has access to your phone.

    1. Punisher

      If you are a user and you want digital service(s), you need to register just owning a mobile phone number. Digital footprints and transactions are known. To avoid it just go and live in a cave and no-one knows you exits or your friends and family can visit you there. Emails, GPS, mobile phones, digital watches etc collect data about the owner every single second. He is writing what he thinks is correct and if you object just respond showing you know your subject.

  6. Mukanya

    Badly sounds like something written by someone who has been terribly hoodwinked and completely brainwashed by the West to always think everything the West says is correct and they always have good intentions whilist labelling all from the East particularly China is “Communist”, full of evil and bad for our very existence. Sucks!!

    1. Wu Mao

      Communism bodycount doesn’t lie! Anyway, we shouldn’t be tolerating nonsense just because its china doing it now, just as we shouldn’t be ok with 5 eyes doing it.

      1. Observer

        The difference between Chinese communism and western communism sponsored by Russia is like between chair and electric chair. And don’t forget that communism is an ideology of european origin.

  7. Apprilled

    What’s different about china’s communist regime and our government? Tese tiri kungomama. Besides… America has failed to give any shred of evidence of spying over the past years…. Americans with their CIA also access our data daily as required by law and so what’s surprising when China does that?

    Please get your facts straight before you become a puppet of American press.

  8. Anonymous

    go to hell wit ur uniformed piece Tech wat

    1. Wu Mao

      Lol, you won’t earn your 50c with comments like these! Step it up 😂

  9. new cold war

    western tech companies slept on the job and chinese companies stole the show with 5G, and mind you its not only huawei thats leading the tech world. the top tech companies in the world ryt now are from china, the likes of oppo, xiaomi and transsion

    1. Wu Mao

      ‘Stole the show’, literally!😉

  10. The Empress

    Mbudzi phones are are holding Zimbabwe back
    Do you own a 4G phone? Ever wonder why the 4G network is so poor or non existant outside major cities or towns (Victoria Falls)
    This is my personal opinion backed up by my lack of thorough knowledge coupled with the typical Zimbabwean habit of having an opinion on anything.
    A major cost for Mobile Network Operators (MNO) is the maintenance of cellular equipment. In Zimbabwe the typical MNO has to maintain about 4 different types of equipment. Why? Quite simply it’s because the average Zimbabwean is poor which is not a crime but a simple fact of life (but you wouldn’t think so when you read about Eddie Cross proposing that the 2%tax be raised to 5 %😔)
    So when buying a new phone the main Question is whether the phone has WhatsApp? (Ine WhatsApp here?)
    CATCH 22 Problem
    The end result is that most Zimbabwean phones use the GPRS, EDGE, and 2G type of networks with a relatively small amount of phones (compared to the number of phones in use) being 3G and 4G capable.
    CATCH 22
    The problem is that the equipment for GPRS, EDGE, and 2G still has to be maintained which is a costly affair but at the same time this reduces the amount of money available to modernise the network to 4G.
    In an ideal world MNO would prefer to have a small range of equipment to maintain ie. 2G,3G while they rolled out 4G across the country. And once they finished rolling out 4G they would start dropping support for 2G at the same time they would start planning on the implementation of the 5G network system, but this is not an ideal world and worse this is Zimbabwe.
    In Zimbabwe these lower network speed phones constitute a significant source of revenue for the various MNO so if one MNO decides to drop for example support of GPRS,they will risk losing a lot of customers who will simply run to their competitors. And this being Zimbabwe they will probably crow about it.
    To be honest I really can’t see a solution.
    Wait for Zimbabwean people to naturally migrate to phones better specs?
    There are a ton of Chinese companies with nothing better to do other than to manufacture low priced phones in order to fight for the low end market, so for as long as there is demand they will keep producing and as long as they are sold Zimbabweans will keep buying.
    Another solution would be for the MNO to sell 3/4G capable phones on credit with terms of 2 years to pay. But as long as the Zimbabwean economy is teetering on the brink of collapse, this option can be regarded as an almost guaranteed way to bankruptcy.
    The other more drastic method would be to have the government intervene, after all the modernisation of technological base of Zimbabwe is part of the government’s 5 year plan. But having said that I can already imagine the result…..
    I can see the headline… ” ZIMBABWE BANS IMPORTATION of PHONES BELOW 6G! “🤦🤣🤣

    1. Anonymous

      Some nuggets there

  11. Graffiks

    I am seriously disappointed by the lack of substance and research in this article. It sounds like one of those trash pieces origination from a disgruntled entity.

  12. Hopper

    The writer is correct. In China CCP runs everything and every successful firm is controlled by it. A police officer can go to MNO or ISP and demand digital footprint of any citizen without a court order, if the firm refuse life imprisonment can be applied to the owner. There are so many cases where Chinese sponsors stealing trade secrets from non-Chinese firms such as Samsung, B52 bomber, CISCO, LG etc.

  13. Hopper



    Some of the cases, let’s be objective not be blind followers. I don’t like Trump but some of the things that he did towards China are good for the US and I think we need to do the same.

  14. tinm@n

    Very shallow and feeding on sensationalism

    Everyone’s a bad actor

    And everyone has intentions

    It has been proven, as some have mentioned, without doubt that there exists an NSA dragnet that operates without oversight within the USA and more free reign outside of it.

    Those CISCO devices, windows, phones, “free” email services, social media have backdoors or agreements to provide info to the NSA without due process under vague spy/security laws

    You also think you know Huawei because of the sensations that have fed you but you have absolutely no clue that they own a large chunk of the global share from communication devices to large infrastructure like towers.

    In short, you don’t know what the hell you’re panicking for

    Go write for H-Metro

    1. Hopper

      Encrypted data is a simple way of guarding against that and in US, gvt cannot get data from companies without a court order whereas in China, CCP can do whatever they want and nobody complains otherwise you will spend the rest of your life in prison

      1. Observer

        China officially has communism, a western originatedideology. But regardless or because of that Global Times says that the citizens’ privacy is an issue…
        In the US your privacy is just an object of trade and you can’t do anything with that.

  15. Thabo

    Tech I’m is working hard to please the US embassy here, perhaps they want visas or whatever from them

  16. Hopper

    Spelling or mistakes must not lessen the value of the message being put across. Benzi rikati pane Shumba paseri pegomo, take precaution otherwise unozotodyiwa neshumba yacho.

  17. Kato

    I can see, as far as I’m concerned this article is biased and is trying to say that all Chinese tech companies ( like Huawei) should be banned 🚫 from zimbabwe.
    Mean while, there’s no evidence that has been provided to prove that Huawei has backdoors ( backdoors are just allegations from the US government where no evidence has been provided).
    Just like Huawei , US tech giants should not be ignored since they hold a vast amount of our data.(Google for example knows everything we do from google search, youtube, chrome , android, gmail, google assistant etc) and this data can easily be accessed by third parties including the government of the US.
    Here’s my conclusion, as Zimbos…. let’s not pick sides, invite all companies and put strong institutions to control the flow of data. ( In the race for internet equipment for example, it is in favour of the Zimbabwe government to control the market for example give Huawei , ZTE , Ericsson, Nokia unique responsibilities in the market such that you limit the monopoly of the whole market.) Put strong laws to influence that can hold any company captive of wrong doing and viable alternatives should be in place.
    We shouldn’t limit our markets to the west or China since all of them are pursuing their own interests. We should instead encourage competition from all spheres to avoid exploitation.

  18. Snowden

    This is a stupid article America spied on Angela Merkel and Nikolas Sarkozy their allies through American made tech. No mention of it here.
    NSA places backdoors in American tech. No mention of it here
    Musanyengerere mavisa muchidaro munotinyadzisa.

    1. Hopper


      For Huawei it’s not a big but a design.

      Software development is very hard and bugs always exits. Software updates are there to fix issues.
      Apple refused to unlock a terrorist iPhone. We know that Chinese telecoms having conducting systematic BGP route leak for internet traffic for European and American internet routes, most probably using Huawei network gear.

  19. Willingmore Mabhena

    Dont these companies operate observing laws by the International Telecommunications Union. What does it state about such behavior.

    I totally believe that this is politically motivated. Huawei is fast taking the space globally in all telecoms fronts and the western counterparts are not cool with it.

    Leave huawei alone

    1. Punisher

      Most business transactions are politically motivated however we need to make sure that each option has checks and balances. In Huawei instances they are no options, what the CCP says goes and no objections thats why western countries are now blocking Huawei network gear.




  20. Anonymous

    In the end we are all moving towards a 1-World Government sooner or later and all our data and digital footprint will be accessed regardless so relax and pray God saves us all. Amen

  21. Punisher

    Most people here are just name calling and I think we can learn from your knowledge if you respond with useful information. Responding with nonsense might suggest that you dont know the subject matter. Please respond with points filled with knowledge.

  22. Observer
  23. Obey Mthunzie

    No comment

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