China plans $500 mn subsea internet cable to rival US-backed project

Chinese state-owned telecom companies are developing a subsea fiber-optic internet cable network with an investment of $500 million to link Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, in a move to compete with a similar project backed by the United States, Reuters news report said.
Telstra broadbandThe project, known as EMA (Europe-Middle East-Asia), will be led by China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom. The cable will run from Hong Kong to Hainan, China, before reaching Singapore, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and France.

HMN Technologies, majority-owned by Hengtong Optic-Electric, will receive subsidies from the Chinese government to lay the cable.

Undersea cables are responsible for over 95 percent of all international internet traffic and are owned by groups of tech and telecom companies. However, these cables have become a weapon of influence in the tech war between the US and China, as both countries compete for control of advanced technologies.

The EMA project will rival SeaMeWe-6, a cable being constructed by US firm SubCom that will connect Singapore to France, also via Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and several other countries.