AFRINIC AFRINIC issued a communique after Cloud Innovation published "right of reply" in Mauritian newspaper

The legal battle between AFRINIC and one of its resource members, Cloud Innovation Ltd, continues. However, it seems that the fight is not just in the Supreme Court of Mauritius anymore but they are also fighting to be heard via the press. 🤔

Ish Sookun

2 min read min read

On the 5th of August, Cloud Innovation Ltd, a resource member of AFRINIC, published a « right of reply » in Le Défi newspaper. The article is also available on defimedia.info.

In the article, the Management of Cloud Innovation Ltd, alleges that some former senior members of AFRINIC staff have used Le Défi to fight against Cloud Innovation Ltd. The latter alleges that AFRINIC has demanded Cloud Innovation to monitor hundreds of millions of end users and threatened to terminate internet connectivity of those end users if refused.

The article mentions Lu Heng, the CEO of Cloud Innovation Ltd, as a global citizen having residency permits in countries in Europe, Middle East and Asia. Lu Heng is mentioned as occupying board seats in a number of non-profit global organisations – citing The Pacific Telecommunications Council.

AFRINIC Communique

AFRINIC published a communique on its website in which it explained that Cloud Innovation Ltd has been been allocated 6.2 million IPv4 addresses by AFRINIC following needs expressed for the region. It further states that the use of the IP addresses is governed by a Registration Service Agreement (RSA) signed by Cloud Innovation Ltd.

In June 2020, AFRINIC drew the attention of Cloud Innovation Ltd to breaches of its RSA and asked for explanation, failing which, AFRINIC initiated contractual procedures stipulated in the RSA.

The communique states that instead of collaborating, Cloud Innovation Ltd chose to initiate legal proceedings against AFRINIC and till date Lu Heng and his associates have entered over 25 lawsuits against AFRINIC before the Supreme Court of Mauritius.

The communique was issued as a result of the article published in Le Défi newspaper on 5 August 2022.

The AFRINIC communique was also published in French on page 7 of the l'express dimanche newspaper.

Observation

I could not verify the article that Cloud Innovation referred to, that had statements from former senior members of AFRINIC staff. There was no reference to the article date or link online in its « right to reply » published on defimedia.info. In fact, Cloud Innovation mentions that the article has been removed by Le Défi.

I could not find Lu Heng on the Board of Governors of the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC). He is currently a For-Profit Representative in the Advisory Council of the PTC. He was elected in November 2020 for the East Asian For-Profit seat. His term on the Advisory Council started on 17 January 2021 and is valid for 4 years as per Article VI Section 3A of the Bylaws of the Pacific Telecommunications Council. Lu Heng appears on the Advisory Council of the PTC as the CEO of Larus Ltd.

AFRINIC states breaches of its RSA as the reason for reclaiming IPv4 numbers from Cloud Innovation Ltd. The latter accuses AFRINIC of corruption and poor governance. It also claims that AFRINIC has demanded that it monitors hundreds of millions of its end users.