Venezuela hires Chinese telco ZTE to implement ID database


As early as 2008, the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE began helping Venezuela develop a system similar to the identity system used in China to track social, political, and economic behaviour. By 2018, Venezuela was rolling out its "carnet de la patria", a smart-card "fatherland" ID card that was being increasingly linked to the government-subsidised health, food, and other social programmes most Venezuelans relied on for survival. In 2017, Venezuela hired ZTE to build a comprehensive database of citizens' personal information, to be managed by Venezuelan state telecommunications operator Cantv, and mobile payment system for use with the card as part of a $70 million effort to improve national security. Critics complained about the intrusiveness of the programme and the unfairness of giving citizens with cards more rights than those without. The system being installed included components from Dell Technologies, which said it had no record of such a sale.

Writer: Angus Berwick

Publication: Reuters

Publication date: 2018-11-14

tags: Venezuela, ID cards, ZTE, China, Cantv, Dell