Chinese video surveillance firms flay US move

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Leading Chinese video surveillance product makers, including Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, have criticized a vote by the US Congress that seeks to prohibit the US government from buying Chinese products due to national security concerns.

Hikvision said in a statement that it was disappointed by the vote. There was no evidence that its products threatened US national security, and "such an accusation carried obvious speculation and bias."

The response came after the House of Representatives last week passed a bill along with an amendment that bans the US government agencies and institutions from buying surveillance cameras from Hikvision, Hytera Communications Corp and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.

Hytera and Dahua also expressed regret over the vote and said they would safeguard their reputation and legal interest. The ban has to get approval from the Senate before it comes into effect.

Hikvision, based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, said the potential ban would have little impact on its business, because it never tried to enter the list of suppliers to US government agencies.

The company's products are targeting corporate clients via distributors, it added.

Currently, Hikvision's products are available in more than 150 territories. Last year, it reported net profit of 9.4 billion yuan ($1.5 billion), up 26.7 percent year-on-year.

Dahua said that its business in the US was still small and the potential ban would have limited impact on it. Hytera also said the vote would barely affect its business.

Bai Ming, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the three firms are the latest Chinese tech companies that are facing obstacles in the US as local law makers leverage national security concerns as excuses to block their entry into certain markets.

"The US government should not exclude Chinese tech players, just because they are from China," Bai said.

In April, the US Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to ban federally subsidized telecom carriers from using suppliers deemed to pose a risk to national security. The move targets Chinese tech leaders Huawei and ZTE, two names that appeared in the FCC's order.

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