China’s Xinhua News Agency has released a satirical video in English targeting US and British concerns about technology giant Huawei.
The video was published on Xinhua’s New China TV YouTube channel as well as on its Twitter account, China Xinhua News. Both accounts carry a warning about their affiliation with the Chinese state.
The video shows two British intelligence agents trying to emulate James Bond meet in a castle to get their instructions from M, who has a new top priority for Western spies.
The male agent speculates that Julian Assange may have escaped from prison or that Edward Snowden has been arrested.
While waiting, the female agent talks about spying by the NSA. And remember, too, that America has advanced propaganda capabilities.
When the agents spoke to M, he told the male customer not to buy a Huawei phone. When the male client asks why, he discovers that his operator is spying on him.
America’s Communications Infrastructure
Huawei has been attacked by Western governments who believe the company’s technology could be compromised by the Chinese government.
US authorities have been brief in the details of how China could in theory instigate an attack on US communications infrastructure.
But there were reports last month that Chinese spies successfully hacked Australian networks in 2012 using a Huawei software update.
The Huawei ban turns into a Chinese parody as the parody video refers to two Western leaders by name – Britain’s David Cameron and Germany’s Angela Merkel – both of whom are no longer in charge of their countries.
It is clear that China views the hypocrisy of technological espionage as America’s weak point in the new Cold War.
A Huawei executive made a similar attack in February of 2019 at the Mobile World Congress. He cited what Edward Snowden revealed as a reason not to believe the US authorities when it came to allegations of espionage.
CIA approved phones
By the end of the video, both agents were given CIA-certified phones, which were clearly bugged.
What the video ignores, however, is that many of the security concerns surrounding Huawei focused not on actively exploited backdoors, but rather on bad cybersecurity practices that could enable an attack in the future.
A 2019 report from the Supervisory Board of Huawei’s Cybersecurity Assessment Center in the UK raised concerns about the core engineering competence and safety of the company’s cybersecurity.
Nor do the parodies mention the company’s role in building technology for labor camps and re-education in China’s Xinjiang region, nor do reports about its work on a facial recognition system to monitor Uighurs.