Will a China-owned telco operating in the Philippines spy on Filipinos?

For one thing, it is a bit presumptuous to think spying on the minutiae of day-to-day lives of ordinary Filipinos is an important enough main objective for a multi-million dollar investment in network infrastructure and telco service delivery capability. There really isn’t much to learn from data collected from Filipino Internet users beyond what Facebook and Google already use these for (mainly selling consumerist trinkets and entertainment products). One just needs to check out — through publicly-accessible sites and facilities — what the “trending” topics and hashtags of the hour in the Philippines are. It’s not a pretty sight. If there is a term opposite of the colloquialism “nosebleed”, that would be the term to describe the topics Filipinos are obssessed with on a day-to-day basis.

Marketers don’t even need sophisticated Big Data analytics to figure out what Filipino consumers want. For that, they just need to watch noontime Filipino television to figure out the best products (and media entertainment genres) to pitch to Filipino consumers. As for the task of amassing data sets useful for mining insights relevant to military intelligence, well, one would be hard-pressed to think of a military application for data collected from Filipino “millennial” chatter about their imported Chinese-made fashion accessories.

In short, the sort of “spying” Filipino “activists” are screeching about is not worth anyobody’s while. Filipinos are notoriously easy to manipulate en masse. They quickly flock from one outrage or feel-good fad to another at the drop of the next media bomb. Throw a Filipino a basketball and they will likely drop the packet of chicharon they had been munching on. We can see this collective behaviour even in political discourse on social media (where, one would think, the “best and brightest” of Filipino Netizens congregate). One moment they are gnashing their teeth over the “outrage” of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s successful extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, then, on another, are waxing outrage poetry in Twitter “threads” over his granddaughter Isabelle Duterte’s expensive taste.

Fear-mongering Filipino ‘activists’ need to do a bit of homework before screeching out their thoughts.
(Source: Twitter)
In light of all this, it remains glaringly evident that mainstream mass media wields far more power than any telco service armed with network ubiquity and listening devices would. Maine Mendoza would be a far more valuable asset to a corporation in the business of peddling political influence than a proprietary network of fibre-optic cables, mobile cellular towers, and satellite transponders. What these shrill “activists” clucking out outrage over a Chinese-owned telco provider playing in the Philippine market fail to realise is that Filipinos’ own domestic mass media corporations have, for so long, already been doing what these “activists” have been fear-mongering about.

Filipinos don’t need shady Chinese or Russian propagandists to influence their politics. Their own local “thought leaders” are already doing that, thank you very much. They do not need a telco network to glean insight on what makes the Filipino mind tick. Eat Bulaga had already figured that out way back in the 1970s. Thank you very much.

What Filipinos should actually be thankful for is seeing a third telco player rescue their lot from the “services” of the current Telco monopolies. Just assume the position. Hostile, dog style, any style will do.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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18 Comments on "Will a China-owned telco operating in the Philippines spy on Filipinos?"

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Dog style sounds nice

Everyone would be shrieking even if it were an American, French, or Finnish company bidding for the phone system. What terrifies Filipinos the most is the prospect of other people proving to be less incompetent than they are. Because then they’d have to start asking soul-searching questions like: why do Finns achieve more, with less work, than we ever have in the last 50 years? And they won’t like the answers. As long as the companies ripping them off, spying on them, and feeding them propaganda are all (theoretically) run by Filipinos, they’re good with that. The propaganda makes them… Read more »

No need to ask. They’ve already been spying on us before the fact. See all these devices that bear the brands of Chinese companies that enable WiFi and internet connectivity? They’ve been monitoring us already before we even raise the issue. Why bother?


OF COURSE THEY ARE, BUT…ask yourselves…WHY? WTF do the Chinese Elites give one good damn about what is happening in most Filipino’s homes ? The Filipino people are ,for the most part, poverty stricken…so the Chinese aren’t gaming the countries citizenry for any idea’s on how to get rich,yes?
The will do so for the most morally indefensible reason: BECAUSE THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT…and laugh ta you all while doing it.
Get over the paranoia though, seriously…NO ONE GIVES A SHIT WHAT THE AVERAGE FILIPINO IS UP TO !


breaking the monopolies that SMART AND GLOBE have can not be that bad a thing, lower prices….good for business..who cares if your sex tape of your GF ends up in some Hong Kong sleaze shop ?


everyone spies on everyone so what else is new??!!!!


A culture cannot lie down with dogs and not become utterly infested with fleas. The dogs, in this case, are the mongrel media and the corporate overlords who have grown fat on manufactured controversy and fear mongering.

I watch you sleep

Yeah cause it’s not like the current slew of local ISP companies, Google and Facebook are already doing that right? Right? RIGGHHTTT???


Backward thinking… facebook knows what ur doing already.. they knew what ad to place in ur account amd this is according to what youve been doing online. This is why a lot of business do the ads on fb coz they(fb) already categorized you. But really, what can they possibly spy more on us? Our defense research? Hahaha kidding me ? So u think globe and pldt is not spyig on us?

The Chinese does not need TelCo, to spy on the Filipinos. They are already in every town, every Barangay in our country. They own businesses, from the smallest sari sari store to the largest MegaMall in the Philippines. They have also political clout like the Aquino Cojuangco political axis. They are in every kind of businesses. From the manufacture and sale of illegal drug, called Shabu to legal businesses like : manufacturing , wholesaling and retailing. They hold the Filipino consumers on their “bayag”….the OFW remittances, go directly to the Hong Kong, China Banks. TelCo will surely monopolize the telephone… Read more »

Filipinos are so histrionic that we don’t need any spying by a foreign nation. I’m sure a Filipino is self-righteous enough to declare that he deserves to take someone else’s house or spouse for free.

It’s also the same as when some say, “what if China invades?” That is as dumb as a doornail. It’s common sense to see that invading and taking us over will present a lot of ridiculous problems, and we don’t have a lot of resources that China’s huge land mass already has or could benefit from.


ha! feel that ship may have sailed. state grid corporation of china has ownership stake in our national grid corporation of the philippines (ngcp).

Who cares about China Telecoms will spy on us if they’ll gonna invest it in here & challenge Globe & Smart on the telco wars in our country, the most important is if they could compete it fairly, their services are really great & follow the laws in our country, and not in China. And besides, even the free country like the US of A have an issue on the invasion of privacy & online surveillance as what the former NSA employee & whistleblower, Mark Snowden had exposed to the media before that his government are doing these kind of… Read more »