“Freedom of information requests filed in late 2020 with all 32 London councils and the next 20 largest UK city councils found about two-thirds owned technology made by two Chinese companies accused of links to the repression of Uighurs,” Reuters notes.
At least 28 councils used technology made by Hikvision, a manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance equipment with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party given its status as a state-owned company.
What’s more, the company has been identified by the U.S. Department of Defense as a Chinese Communist Party military proxy and many fear the data recorded by the company’s surveillance equipment could easily end up in the hands of the Chinese government.
“Seven councils had technology made by Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co Ltd, China’s second-largest surveillance equipment maker. In total 16 London councils had technology made by Hikvision or Dahua – both of which face strict trade restrictions in the United States. Six London boroughs and three other councils did not respond to requests about their links with the Chinese firms, or denied having enough data to disclose what they had deployed,” Reuters adds.