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EVENING STANDARD: US readying ‘seismic’ sanctions on Chinese surveillance company

The below article was published by Evening Standard, photo credit: Reuters

The company has been accused of supplying surveillance equipment for the detention of Uyghur Muslims in China

Washington is preparing to enact hard-hitting sanctions on Chinese surveillance camera company Hikvision, according to reports.

The move, which has been labelled as a potentially “seismic development”, would have far-reaching implications as more than 1,000 cities globally use its surveillance equipment.

According to the Financial Times, Washington is preparing sanctions for Hikvision whom it accuses of providing equipment to facilitate the detention of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch said: “If enacted these sanctions are a seismic development.

“We have long called for surveillance technologies to be regulated so that they aren’t deployed by abusive governments.

“Our research shows that Beijing’s tech-enhanced repression extends both inside and outside China.”

The sanctions would be the largest imposed on such a large company and according to inside sources, the US has begun to inform allies of the move.

US national security officials are also concerned the company’s cameras may also be used in spying activities.

Last month the UK’s Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner Fraser Sampson called on the company to reveal its involvement in China’s human rights abuses, and asked Government ministers to clarify their position on buying surveillance equipment.

Like his predecessor, Joe Biden has accused China of committing genocide in the northwestern region, where it has detained ethnic minorities – although Beijing has denied all claims.

Donald Trump barred the company from securing US technology and last year, Mr Biden put Hikvision on the Chinese military-industrial complex companies’ list which stops Americans from investing in the company.about:blankabout:blank

Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei has also been sanctioned by the US while the UK removed the company’s equipment from the 5G network.

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