Chinese CCTV manufacturer Hikvision named as next US blacklist target – report

A Hikvision logo is seen at an exhibition during the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China May 16, 2019. © REUTERS/Jason Lee / Free

One of the world’s largest video surveillance products manufacturers, China’s Hikvision, is likely to follow Huawei on the US blacklist, according to a report. The sanction may be announced “in the coming weeks.”

Washington is mulling denying yet another Chinese company a share of the US market, this time preparing to limit access to American technology for the surveillance equipment giant Hangzhou Hikvision, the New York Times reported.

If the company indeed makes the US blacklist, American companies would need to receive approval from the government before selling components to the Chinese firm. As with the case of the world’s leading supplier of telecommunications equipment, Huawei, which has so far bore the brunt of the US sanctions, Hikvision is likely to be presented as a threat to national security for its perceived ties to the Chinese government.

However, Hikvision’s case is more complex: according to the NYT, Hikvision has also been singled out for its alleged role in the persecution of the Chinese ethnic Uighur minority. It is alleged that Beijing makes use of the sophisticated high-resolution surveillance equipment to monitor Uighurs to prevent public disturbances. 

The Trump administration is reportedly going to make a final decision on whether to banish Hikvision “in the coming weeks.” Shortly after the report came out, Hikvision’s stock took a nosedive, falling nearly 10 percent. 

US President Donald Trump’s crusade against Chinese tech, taking place amid an ongoing trade spat between Washington and Beijing, has seen shares of major Chinese technology and telecom corporations sliding. Since its 10-month high on April 2, Hikvision shares have dropped by over 25 percent. 

In a statement to Sina, Hikvision said that it has not received any official notice about being included on the blacklist. It added that the ban, even if enacted, will have “no effect” on its operations, as it will find substitutes for US-made chips.

Last May, the company was barred by the US lawmakers from selling equipment to the US government over security concerns. Hikvision denounced the measure as “baseless.”

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