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Google, Facebook undersea web cable will no longer connect US and Hong Kong

2020-09-01 18:31 by


Google and Facebook have abandoned their plans to build an undersea data cable between Los Angeles and Hong Kong after the US expressed fears that the Chinese government could use it to spy on them.

First announced in 2016, the Pacific Light Cable Network is a partnership between Google, Facebook and other companies with the aim of boosting internet speeds and capacity between North America and Asia by developing a 13,900km undersea cable. Both US tech giants have helped fund the project alongside a Hong Kong-based company called Pacific Light Data Communications (PLDC) that was originally supposed to own four of the project's six fiber-optic pairs.

The announcement is the latest move in an escalating trade war between the US and China, as the Trump administration continues to argue that Chinese companies are being leveraged by the Chinese government to spy on foreign nations.

Prof Alan Woodward, a cyber-security expert at Surrey University, said the decision might prove to be counter-productive for the US.

"The whole purpose of having the cable join with Hong Kong was that Hong Kong was meant to become an Asian hub so that US tech firms could start to gain more Asian customers," he said.

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