Just last month, in April 2019, the United States federal government enacted regulations that prevented government agencies and government-funded entities from purchasing any and all products from the Chinese electronic and telecommunication giants Huawei and ZTE.
Further, last week, the United States Department of Commerce prevented Huawei, formally known as Huawei Technologies, from being able to purchase goods from the United States.
Although United States citizens, residents, businesses, and organizations can still readily purchase goods that are either manufactured by Huawei or ZTE either directly from either of the two companies or from second-hand sellers, Huawei and ZTE both are adamantly against the U.S. legislation, which has caused U.S.-based non-government buyers to begin switching to other brands of electronics. Recently, Huawei sued the United States federal government in response to the bans, alleging that it did not go through with due process in determining that the company’s interests were inherently against that of the U.S. government.
According to recent reports from The New York Times, the Trump administration could be on the verge of restricting Hikvision, yet another Chinese company, from purchasing technology from companies based in the United States.
Hikvision, formally known as Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Ltd., is a video surveillance equipment supplier and manufacturer that was founded in 2001. All controlling, voting shares of the company are owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China. As such, the U.S. federal government likely considers Hikvision’s interests as inherently being in line with those of the Chinese government.
The New York Times reported yesterday, Tuesday, May 21, that the U.S. federal government is contemplating placing Hikvision on a blacklist that would effectively require companies in the United States to apply with the U.S. Commerce Department in order to sell goods to Hikvision, which currently purchases a large volume of silicon-based computer chips from U.S. manufacturers and suppliers.
One of the reasons why the Trump administration is thought to be against doing business with Hikvision is because of China’s social credit program, through which the government widely surveils its population through a vast network of cameras that employ facial-recognition technology to keep up with what its citizens do. Another reason, of course, is that the U.S. is deeply locked in a trade war with China and wants to further establish its upper hand in the two countries’ relations.