After the initial impact on the opportunity it would bring to the country, in terms of employment and business, Alibaba’s investment in Europe is now under the scrutiny of security. Belgian politicians are concerned that the major Chinese project at Liège airport, in the south of the country, is a form of espionage by China, advances the ‘Politico’.
Alibaba’s investment of 100 million euros still started to be well regarded by Belgium, as a way of helping to recover the economy of the region, but now some of the members of the Belgian parliament have been discussing whether this will not be a way of China looking for a firmer position in Europe.
“We must realize that Alibaba is not just a simple private operator, but an agent of the Chinese Communist Party, under the regime’s orders, for example, in the repression of the Uighur minority, through its facial recognition software”, warned Samuel Cogolati, a member of the Green Ecolo party in the Belgian Parliament who is leading the process.
“We must reappropriate control over these digital giants and filter out these Chinese investments. We must open our eyes, guarantee our security, basic freedoms and protect the personal data of Belgian citizens, “he told‘ Politico ’.
Last week, Cogolati had already lobbied Belgium’s justice minister, Vincent Van Quickenborne, at a parliamentary meeting. “Chinese intelligence services can have access to sensitive and secure areas of the airport. The future economic importance of Liège airport for China cannot be underestimated, ”said the party representative, quoted by the Belgian press.
The new logistics center of the Chinese e-commerce giant, installed on 220,000 square meters of the airport, is expected to come on stream this year.
The warning comes at a time when tempers between China and the European Union are in check, with boycotts by Chinese consumers of European products.
Alibaba has yet to comment on the case.
Source: with Agencies