Silent cable, built by Chinese companies, can transmit data per second covering 90,000 hours of Netflix Internet TV. Bloomberg wrote that this will mainly serve Chinese companies doing business in Africa and Europe. The project is a new chapter in cyber geopolitics.
The third largest shareholder in Hengdong Optic-Electric, which makes up the cable system, is Apple Hawaii Technologies, a trade and security firm between China and the United States. In addition, Hawaii provides equipment for the system.
The Alphabet team, which includes Google and Facebook, has said it will not use the cable system because it already has enough capacity. Bloomberg reminded that if they want to use the peace program, it will not be easy to ignore Chinese technology companies, which was started by the administration of former US President Donald Trump on national security.
Submarine cables are of great strategic importance. Currently, 400 of them cover 98 percent of international Internet data and telephone traffic. Most of them are run by US companies, which helps strengthen US dominance in the Internet environment.
Last year, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned about the infrastructure being built by China. But the French government, according to Bloomberg sources, will not bow to Washington’s pressure because it does not want to “rely entirely on US decisions.” Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out against China’s isolation in the region.
Mike Hollands of Intercession, a peace program, said that reducing Internet infrastructure for security reasons would slow down the overall connection. The Dutch company Leiden Asia Center estimates that China controlled 11.4 percent of submarines in 2019. Between 2025 and 2030, Beijing will increase this share to 20 percent.
In some cases, the United States and its allies have already blocked submarine cables from China. Australia did so in 2018 in the case of the Hawaii Marine Network cable to connect a group of Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Sydney and the Pacific island nations. Last year, a section of the cable that ran from Los Angeles to Hong Kong had to be diverted. The project was partially funded by Google and Facebook. For US national security reasons, he was deported from territory controlled by China.