Chinese surveillance tech firm Hikvision could be on US blacklist

A Benjamin Franklin U.S. 100-dollar banknote and a Chinese 100-yuan banknote depicting the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong, are seen in a picture illustration in Beijing

The US administration is considering limits to Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision‘s ability to buy US technology, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, in a move that deepens worries about trade frictions between the world’s two top economies.

The move would effectively place Hikvision on a US blacklist and US companies may have to obtain government approval to supply components to Hikvision, the paper said.

The US Commerce Department blocked Huawei Technologies from buying US goods last week, effectively banning US companies from doing business with the Chinese firm, a major escalation in the trade war, saying Huawei was involved in activities contrary to national security.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

Hikvision shares opened 10% lower but an executive in the company’s office told Reuters the company had not been informed of the possible US blacklisting.

“The chips Hikvision uses are very commercial and most of the suppliers are actually in China although there are some in the United States,” said the executive, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“Even if the U.S. stops selling them to us we can remedy this through other suppliers,” she said.

Hikvision and Dahua Technology which produce audio-visual equipment that can be used for surveillance were specifically cited in a letter to Trump’s top advisers last month, signed by more than 40 lawmakers.

The lawmakers said China’s actions in its western region of Xinjiang “may constitute crimes against humanity” and urged tighter U.S. export controls to ensure that U.S. companies are not assisting the Chinese government’s crackdown there.

China has faced growing condemnation from Western capitals and rights groups for setting up facilities that U.N. experts describe as mass detention centres holding more than 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims.

Beijing has said its measures in Xinjiang, which are also reported to include widespread surveillance of the population, are aimed at stemming the threat of Islamist militancy. The facilities or camps that have opened are vocational training centres, the government has said.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.