Skip to navigationSkip to content
HOOKED UP

What happens when China builds your country’s internet

  • Nikhil Sonnad
By Nikhil Sonnad

Reporter

This story is part of an ongoing series on how China is reshaping our world.

Before the Chambeshi River in northern Zambia feeds into the all-important Congo River, it takes a break, stopping to form the massive Lake Bangweulu. The name refers to “water that meets the sky.” It stretches so far that, when it’s still, cloud and lake get all mixed up at the horizon. At the center of this vast expanse, Zambians on tiny fishing boats take leisurely phone calls and send brisk WhatsApps.

Throughout Africa, countries are being connected to the digital economy for the first time, making the internet accessible where it once was not, like in the middle of Lake Bangweulu. In Zambia, communication, banking, and public services are all going digital. As in many African nations, this is all happening with the help of China. But China isn’t just spotting good investment opportunities; nor is it trying to win favors from smaller countries. It’s changing how we think about the internet.

Enrich your perspective. Embolden your work. Become a Quartz member.

Your membership supports a team of global Quartz journalists reporting on the forces shaping our world. We make sense of accelerating change and help you get ahead of it with business news for the next era, not just the next hour. Subscribe to Quartz today.

こちらは英語版への登録ページです。
Quartz Japanへの登録をご希望の方はこちらから。