Local Council Still Buying Security Cameras Linked With Chinese Military
Local Council’s in Australia who are rapidly expanding their surveillance of Australians, are still buying cameras from banned Chinese Company Hikvision, who when they came under pressure after being banned in the USA, simply changed the name of their cameras to EZVIZ in Australia.
Hikvision is listed as a Tier 1 supplier to the Chinese military, and often conduct exercises with the Chinese military with a recent report revealing that they supply cameras and drones to the Chinese air force, according to a report by a surveillance-industry research company.
The Chinese Military have been running hacking operations in Australia according to government sources with the Australian Government currently working with the USA to build out military bases in the Northern Territory because of threats by the Chinese Communist Party.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the findings by IPVM shed fresh light on Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology who after being banned by the US Government and whose cameras are being removed from Government buildings, disputed as baseless a decision by the U.S. Defence Department to place the business on a blacklist of companies with alleged ties to China’s armed forces.
According to public documents and online materials found by IPVM, Hikvision sold drones and other accessory equipment to the Chinese air force in 2019 and was considered a top-tier supplier to the nation’s military in 2014.
In March, a drone-jamming rifle, emblazoned with a Hikvision logo, was shown on state television being held by a soldier kneeling in rough terrain and testing equipment for use in extreme conditions such as subzero temperatures or high altitudes.
Hikvision’s website also carried a report on how the company’s technology could improve the performance of Chinese missile, tank, and other weapons systems, citing a study done jointly with commanders and weapons experts from the People’s Liberation Army. The study proposed the use of Hikvision cameras to record drills and improve weapons accuracy. The report was taken down from Hikvision’s website for several days this month after The Wall Street Journal contacted the company for comment.
IPVM, an independent research company are experts on the surveillance industry, shared its findings with the WSJ which independently corroborated them.
“Hikvision has partnered with the PRC’s military, earning top PLA supplier status, collaborating on PLA research, and more,” according to IPVM, using the abbreviation for the People’s Republic of China.
In response to IPVM’s findings, a Hikvision spokesman said: “Hikvision, like many global technology companies, manufactures commercial devices and solutions that some can be considered dual-use goods serving general video-surveillance purposes.” Dual-use goods are products that have both civilian and military applications.
“Not now, and not ever, has Hikvision conducted research and development work for Chinese military applications,” the spokesman said. “Any instances of such by any of our employees were done so in a personal capacity and not at the direction of the company.”
Hikvision is the world’s largest maker of video-surveillance equipment by sales.
The Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, which manages military procurement, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The WSJ said that China’s Foreign Ministry has said the Pentagon unfairly targets Chinese companies and that the U.S. encourages similar cooperation between private enterprise and its military.
Kyle Sullivan, China practice lead at Martin+Crumpton Group, a risk-intelligence firm told the WSJ that Hikvision has clearer ties to the Chinese state than some other companies targeted by the Pentagon, such as Xiaomi. The smartphone maker won a legal battle in the U.S. to get removed from the blacklist.
“Hikvision’s ownership ties to the Chinese government, coupled with its surveillance technology, personify fears in Washington about China’s military-civil fusion program and make it a more obvious candidate” for the Pentagon to target, he said.
Hikvision’s largest shareholder is a unit of state-owned conglomerate China Electronics Technology Group.