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US and UK ban Chinese equipment on national security grounds

Representatives from the US and UK governments have banned the use of Chinese networking and surveillance equipment, citing “national security”-related fears as the grounds for their decisions.

In the US, the US Federal Trade Commission has banned the import and sale of networking and video surveillance equipment from Chinese companies Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, and ZTE.

In the UK, the Parliament has instructed government departments to cease the deployment of security cameras from Chinese companies on “sensitive sites” such as government buildings and military bases.

British officials said that Chinese-made security cameras should not be connected to core networks and that government departments should also consider removing and replacing existing equipment even before “scheduled upgrades.”

Both the US and UK bans come after the intelligence agencies in both countries previously warned against the use of equipment from Chinese companies, cautioning that Chinese equipment could be used for digital surveillance, digital sabotage, and economic espionage.

Both Dahua and Hickvision had already lost a large chunk of their market in the US after the US Treasury sanctioned both companies for providing the Chinese government with facial recognition and video tagging solutions in the government’s Uyghurs oppression efforts.

The UK ban does not any vendors, but human rights advocates in the country have been railing against the same two aforementioned companies for years—although, the UK government appears to anticipate that other vendors and state-owned companies might be involved in the same shenannigans or susceptible to government pressure via its broad and dangerous National Intelligence Law.

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