US Gov China Commission (CECC) Cites IPVM on HikvisionBy: Charles Rollet, Published on Jan 09, 2020
The US Congress agency monitoring PRC human rights has cited IPVM's coverage of Hikvision's extensive Xinjiang activities in its flagship annual report.
The report, which mentions Hikvision almost two dozen times, urges further US government action on the Xinjiang human rights crisis, calling for even tougher sanctions on companies "directly complicit".
In this post, we examine the report's citing of IPVM along with its broader impact, including:
- Report Background
- IPVM Work On Hikvision Cited
- IPVM Coverage Of Infinova Cited
- Hikvision Mentioned Many Times
- Tiandy Called Out As Well
- CECC Recommendations: Magnitsky Sanctions, Export Controls
- Hikvision Declines to Comment
Yesterday the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) released its 2019 report to the Congress and the President, which is the bipartisan agency's main purpose. While the report covers issues like Tibet and the Hong Kong protests, Xinjiang received heavy coverage as well - Uyghur activists even attended the report's release:
IPVM Work on Hikvision Cited
IPVM's article Evidence Of Hikvision's Involvement With Xinjiang IJOP And Re-Education Camps was cited by the CECC:
IPVM Infinova Coverage Mention
CECC cited IPVM's report on Infinova's Xinjiang activities as well:
Hikvision Called Out Many Times
In total, the CECC report mentioned Hikvision almost two dozen times, indicating the firm has become the one of the most visible symbols of Chinese government surveillance/rights abuses. In one passage, the CECC even used Hikvision as an example of businesses being complicit in "egregious human rights violations":
Tiandy Called Out As Well
The CECC mentioned Tiandy three times for selling "technology to Chinese authorities", stating "the government uses this technology to surveil rights advocates and others the government views as threats." The Tiandy mention is due to a Bloomberg report noting that Tiandy's founder is now a billionaire.
CECC Recommends Magnitsky Sanctions
Without mentioning Hikvision explicitly, the CECC recommended Global Magnitsky sanctions on companies "directly complicit" in Xinjiang:
Impose Global Magnitsky sanctions on both Chinese government officials carrying out severe human rights abuses in the XUAR as well as the companies directly complicit in those abuses.
More Export Controls Urged
The CECC also recommends updating the ban on US firms selling China "crime control" equipment that was passed after the Tiananmen Square massacre. This would make it much harder for US companies to supply any Chinese surveillance firms, not just the ones sanctioned over Xinjiang like Hikvision/Dahua.
Hikvision Declines Comment
Hikvision told IPVM they decline to comment on the CECC report.
The CECC report is bad news for Hikvision, indicating that the company has become a prominent example of PRC government surveillance in Xinjiang; notably, Dahua was not even mentioned in the report although it also has extensive Xinjiang activities.
More broadly, if the report's recommendations are acted upon, even further restrictions on US business with Chinese security companies could very well be placed in the future. Considering these issues are anchored in human rights rather than technical/cybersecurity concerns, they are unlikely to go away anytime soon.