• Jakub Cumpelik
Huawei is a Chinese company, which is considered to be one of the world's leading technology companies in the field of telecommunication, smartphones and data transmission. Starting in November 2018, Huawei has been under pressure from Western countries. The reason beyond was Article 7 of the Chinese National Intelligence Law, requesting all the Chinese citizens and companies based in China to hand over any kind data to the Chinese government upon a request. This blowback raised many eyebrows upon Huawei. By that time, the company had been negotiating contracts for installation of 5G networks in the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and the USA. The situation escalated further after arresting of Huawei CFO in Canada in February 2019. Quite a few Western countries put their hands off from collaboration with Huawei. The USA went further imposed strong trade tariffs on China, as Huawei’s country of origin (COO).
This was the background situation of this thesis. The thesis aims at shedding light on new possible insights in the field of political consumerism related to cybersecurity. A literature review prior to this thesis did not encompass much in this field, as it is a newly emerging topic. To obtain new data, 7 student-respondents (2 from Denmark, 2 from the Netherlands, 2 from the UK and 1 from the USA) from Aalborg University underwent semi-structured interviews. The interviews encompassed two parts: the first part analysed Huawei's advertisement published after the scandal broke out, the second part focused on China as COO, international and domestic of China and Western countries and the possible impact of politics on Huawei.
The analysis revealed a couple of following insights. Firstly, the respondents indicated that Huawei has a brand image of a high-tech company with reasonable prices of its products. But, the more they felt involved in the interview, the more they felt concerned about the scandal itself. Secondly, the data have shown a discrepancy in consumer behaviour. While the respondents felt anxious about being possibly spied on by a country in case of a 5G network (China), they willingly admitted not-minding handing over the data to a private company. However, the consumers are rather afraid of the notion being possibly spied on than afraid of the Chinese government itself. Lastly, the statements of female respondents revealed patterns that resonate with critical consumption.
All-in-all, the used theory illuminated new possible insights that may enhance the political consumption theories in relation to cybersecurity.
Publication date2019
Number of pages62
ID: 304669572