Chinese state media publishes video about fear of Huawei

Screenshot: Xinhua / Twitter

Chinese state media outlet Xinhua released an English-language parody video on Tuesday targeting US and British fears about tech giant Huawei. And it’s one of those things that’s both extremely clunky and incredibly fascinating.

The video, which was published on Twitter and YouTube, features two characters of intelligence agents from Britain trying to parody James Bond, along with some slogans from Wayne’s World for good measure.

In the video, the two intelligence agents meet in a castle to get their instructions from “M”, who has a new “single top priority” for the western spies. The male cop, known as James Pond (get it?), speculates that Julian Assange may have escaped from prison or that Edward Snowden was arrested.

While they wait, one of the officers casually talks about espionage by the National Security Agency. She also mentions that “China” has advanced propaganda capabilities, something revealed to be actually done by the US during a hokey unveiling when she flips over a map to reveal the letters “USA”.

Screenshot: Xinhua / Twitter

The spy character Pond also keeps saying “exSQUEEZE me”, which was a catchphrase used by the SNL character Wayne Campbell in the Wayne’s World movies of the 1990s. It’s not clear why the spy character keeps saying a catchphrase from 30 years ago, but Wayne is played by Mike Myers, who also starred in the Austin Powers movies, a parody of the James Bond movies. Maybe the producers of this video got confused and thought Austin Powers is saying “squeezing me out?” at? He also says “Yabba Dabba Doo” at one point, Fred Flintstone’s catchphrase, so who knows? It’s all extremely confusing.

When the agents finally talk to “M”, he tells James Pond not to buy a Huawei phone. When Pond asks why, he discovers that his companions have been spying on him.

“So why not Huawei?” asks James Pond, before hearing about American concerns about backdoors. But the other agent, known as 0.06, reveals that there is no real evidence of backdoors and that it is all a sinister propaganda campaign led by Western intelligence.

Huawei has been attacked by Western governments who believe the company’s technology could be compromised by the Chinese government. US authorities are light on the details of how China would theoretically provoke an attack on US communications infrastructure, but last month there were reports that Chinese spies successfully penetrated Australian networks in 2012 using a Huawei software update, according to the report. Bloomberg News. It’s the kind of claim that, of course, is incredibly difficult to corroborate independently.

At the end of the video, both agents are given CIA-certified phones, which are clearly bugged. you really should watch the video to realize how forced and weird the whole thing is.

China clearly sees the hypocrisy of tech espionage as a weakness for the US in the New Cold War. In February 2019, a Huawei executive made a similar attack on Mobile World Congress, pointing to Edward Snowden’s revelations as a reason not to believe US authorities when it comes to accusations of espionage.

The anglophone propaganda of the Chinese state media has become increasingly strange in recent years. In May 2020, Xinhua released a cartoon character called Terry-cotta to refute claims that China was hoarding PPE at the start of the covid-19 pandemic. And Xinhua has more recently released rap videos about American hypocrisy.

No one knows what 2022 holds for the New Cold War between the US and China, but if today’s release is any guide, we can bet it will be filled with plenty of weird propaganda videos.

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