Economy

US names Hikvision, Chinese security bureaus to economic blacklist

Key Points
  • The U.S. Commerce Department will add 28 Chinese public security bureaus and companies to a U.S. trade blacklist over the treatment of Uighur Muslims and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, sources said.
  • U.S. officials said the announcement was not tied to this week's resumption of trade talks with China.
Picture of Hikvision cameras in an electronic mall in Beijing on May 24, 2019.
Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. Commerce Department will add 28 Chinese public security bureaus and companies - including video surveillance company Hikvision - to a U.S. trade blacklist over the treatment of Uighur Muslims and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, sources briefed on the matter said.

Those set to be added to the so-called "Entity List" include the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region People's Government Public Security Bureau, 19 subordinate agencies and eight commercial firms including Zhejiang Dahua Technology, IFLYTEK Co, Xiamen Meiya Pico Information Co and Yixin Science and Technology Co, the sources said.

A Commerce Department announcement set for later on Monday is expected to cite China's alleged human rights abuses and use of high-tech surveillance against its Muslim minority.

U.S. officials said the announcement was not tied to this week's resumption of trade talks with China. Being added to the "Entity List" bars companies or other entities from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval.

Hikvision, officially known as Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd, with a market value of about $42 billion, calls itself the world's largest video surveillance gear maker.

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Key Points
  • "For years, Silicon Valley looked down on China tech and believed it was only copying. But today, there is awareness that China is innovating and getting ahead in certain tech arenas," says Rebecca Fannin, author of "Tech Titans of China."
  • The world's second-largest economy is already showing some good progress in its push on homegrown industries such as artificial intelligence and chips.
  • Experts suggest that the U.S. needs a national technology agenda and increased investment in research and development to retain its edge.