Hikvision Hangzhou office. 18 June 2018, 17:54:29. Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine
What a lobbyist’s remarks behind closed doors tell you about Chinese money in Washington
  • Wed, 10/30/2019 - 20:18

By Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian 
Oct. 29, 2019 at 4:33 p.m. EDT

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian is a freelance journalist who covers China from Washington.

In the northwestern region of Xinjiang, the Chinese Communist Party has imprisoned more than 1 million Muslim ethnic minorities in mass internment camps and built up an all-encompassing surveillance state. Few of the country’s private companies are more deeply enmeshed in the continuing crackdown than Hikvision, one of the main suppliers of video surveillance equipment to the Chinese security services.

It was this involvement that recently earned the company, the world’s largest purveyor of surveillance equipment, a dubious distinction: Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Commerce placed Hikvision on its so-called entities list, meaning that U.S. businesses were no longer permitted to sell vital components to the Chinese company.