Following the recent executive order that banned US firms from doing business with Huawei, the US is now considering adding up to five Chinese firms specializing in video surveillance to a blacklist that would bar them from using US components or software.
The US could add Hikvision, Dahua and several other video surveillance makers to the US Commerce Department’s Entity List alongside Huawei which prohibits the sale of American technology without a special license.
The Trump administration has raised concerns over how these companies have helped the Chinese government repress its Uighur minority. Additionally, both Hikvision’s and Dahua’s cameras ship with facial recognition capabilities that could be used for espionage.
The ongoing trade war between the US and China could be escalated further by the move and the recent ban on Huawei has already led shares in US chipmakers Qualcomm and Intel to dip.
Hikvision and Dahua
After the New York Times first reported on the potential ban, Hikvision and Dahua plunged in Shenzhen with Hikvision’s shares dropping by 9.6 percent.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s push to keep tabs on the country’s 1.4bn people has helped Hikvision become the industry leader in the video surveillance market while Dahua and other firms have also benefited significantly.
Hikvision now sells its devices, which use AI to conduct facial recognition on a vast scale, on the global market and its shares on the Shenzhen market are the most owned by overseas investors.
By adding these companies to the Entity List, the US risks provoking China further at a time when San Francisco has already banned facial recognition technology and other cities are considering similar measures.