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Be Wary of All Those “Hyperbolic” Reports Warning of the Dangers of Chinese Technology

The fear that China is going to export digital authoritarianism and repression to Africa is way overblown and oversimplified in Western media reports and think tank analysis cautions Iginio Gagliardone, a media scholar at Wits University in Johannesburg and one of the world’s foremost scholars on Chinese technological influence in Africa.

“It is now more than a decade since I started researching China-Africa relations through the deployment of digital infrastructures and the expansion of Chinese media outlets, and it is surprising – but also a bit unnerving – how the questions and claims surrounding China’s role in Africa have largely remained the same,” said Gagliardone, author of the book “China, Africa and the Future of the Internet,” in a post published last week on the London School of Economics blog.

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