Hikvision may be the latest target of US

Marco Green
May 24, 2019

According to executives from Hikvision, the current trade war rhetoric is now being used as a means to contain Chinese hi-tech industries in order to ensure its own leading position as the US's far reaching policies mean that even non-US companies that use U.S. technologies may be barred from supplying to China.

As tensions between China and the US have escalated in recent months over issues ranging from trade to corporate espionage and human rights, Hikvision and Dahua have seen their share prices drop by more than 40% from record highs.

The United States has accused Huawei of activities contrary to national security, a charge Huawei denies.

The Trump administration last week barred Huawei Technologies from using American technology, a move that pummelled shares in United States chipmakers from Qualcomm to Intel, and threatens to dampen global economic growth and disrupt the rollout of critical next-generation wireless networks.

Hikvision said in an emailed response to questions that it takes us concerns on human rights and cybersecurity very seriously and has engaged with the usa government since October. A Hikvision executive echoed the sentiment.

"Even if the USA stops selling them to us we can remedy this through other suppliers", a Hikvision executive said on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter.

"Hikvision is a product supplier, we have not done anything improper in Xinjiang, our company has not in the past, does not right now, and will not in the future take any business that has violating human rights as a requirement", Huang said on her WeChat social media account.

President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He talk to reporters in the Oval Office, at the White House, on April 4.

The Department of Commerce declined to comment.

The US is considering cutting off the flow of vital American technology to as many as five Chinese companies including Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, widening the dragnet beyond Huawei to include world leaders in video surveillance.

Hikvision makes traffic cameras, footpath surveillance cameras with facial recognition, and thermal cameras that are used to monitor people throughout China.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Wednesday that China opposes the USA "suppressing and smearing" enterprises from other countries, including China, by using state power.

China always asks its enterprises to abide by market and global rules when doing business overseas, he said, adding that it also demands other countries provide a fair and nondiscriminatory environment for Chinese companies.

China requires its companies to abide by global norms when investing overseas, but "at the same time we always demand that other countries give Chinese enterprises fair and non-discriminatory treatment", he added.

"To the extent that we're attempting to get China to negotiate on some of these big structural issues, like the role of state-owned enterprise, like its focus on providing industrial policy support for leading technology industries, they're not going to back down on that".

A report by China Merchants Securities Co said Hikvision's United States business only accounts for 6 percent of its total revenue and that it takes a positive view on the company's long-term development.

Hikvision posted a total operating income of 9.94 billion yuan ($1.44 billion) in the first three months this year, up 6.17 percent year-on-year.

"Most AI solutions are sold to the government, public and enterprise sectors in China". Last month, more than 40 bipartisan lawmakers wrote a letter to members of the Trump administration urging sanctions for China's alleged human rights violations of ethnic Uighurs, a mostly Muslim group, who are being held in mass detention centers. The camps that have opened are vocational training centres, it has said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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