US to Impose Sanctions on China’s Hikvision

The United States will impose sanctions on the Chinese video surveillance company Hikvision due to accusations of enabling human rights abuses.

According to four unnamed people familiar with the internal discussions, the Biden administration is laying the groundwork to place human rights-related sanctions on Hikvision.

Hikvision reportedly supplied the Chinese government with surveillance cameras that aided the persecution of one million Uyghurs who have been detained in camps in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

A report from the Financial Times on Wednesday said that the White House wants to target the company in what would amount to the first time the US has imposed such sanctions on a prominent Chinese technology group.

According to Top10VPN, a tech research company, more than 1,000 cities use Hikvision cameras, with the US, Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil, and the UK, as Hikvision’s top five international markets.

Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, said it would be a ‘seismic development’ if the US enacted the sanctions.

“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,” Richardson said.

After the White House deliberations, Hikvision said they look forward to being treated fairly and without any bias.

“The potential action by the US government, as reported, remains to be verified. We believe any such sanction should be based on credible evidence and due process,” Hikvision said.

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