Hikvision Supplies Surveillance Tech to Banks, MRT, Universities in Singapore Amid U.S. Sanctions

Hikvision, a state-owned Chinese company that supplies video surveillance equipment and solutions, is enjoying good business in Singapore as it faces threats of tougher sanctions to be imposed by the U.S.

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The Hangzhou-based company reportedly recorded an exponential growth in sales last year, compared to the year prior. Much of this growth is bolstered by lucrative contracts from both government and commercial sectors, as Asmag.com reports. These include security upgrades for ATMs of the first four banks in Singapore, the metro stations application as well as education sectors, such as National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.


Derek Yang, Asia Business Manager of Hikvision Digital Technology, said that the government had high requirements on public safety. When it came to security, they wanted to cover as many bases as possible, such as surveillance, traffic and transportation, among others. He noted how the government leaned more towards technology and high-end products as price was not an issue for them. Additionally, he said that the Singapore government did not discriminate with regards to the brands of the security products in the market. They choose products based on performance and price.


Singapore has also grown to approve of the quality of Chinese products over the years, which put Hikvision in a very good position to do business.

Credit: Hikvision

The same, however, could not be said for the U.S. that recently announced it plans to impose new sanctions on the Hikvision, adding it to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Specially Designated Nationals and Prohibited Persons List” (SDN list). The Financial Times reports such a move could jeopardize the security company's business relations with the over 180 countries and regions that have adopted its technology and solutions, forcing all of them to reconsider and perhaps change suppliers.


Washington has supposedly already warned its allies and will likely continue to find ways to hurt the company's stock price. Shares for Hikvision opened a limit-down after news broke about the new sanctions.


This is not the first time that Hikvision is facing sanctions from the U.S. The company in 2019 was included in the so-called "Entity List" of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which essentially prohibited them from trading with U.S. companies. The U.S. said the inclusion of Hikvision was due to its involvement in the surveillance of the Xinjiang Uyghurs, a mostly-Muslim ethnic minority believed to be victims of human rights violations.


In 2021, Hikvision along with the likes of Huawei were identified as threats to national security by the U.S. and included in the country's list of "Chinese military-industrial complex enterprises". This banned Americans from conducting public securities transactions and investing in the companies included on the list.


“The potential action by the US government, as reported, remains to be verified,” a Hikvision spokesperson told Al Jazeera. “We believe any such sanction should be based on credible evidence and due process.”


Experts still don't know what the ramifications will be for companies and countries presently working with Hikvision if the company is indeed placed in the SDN list by the U.S., a list typically reserved for drug lords and leaders of violent groups. What they're quite sure of is that it will further ramp up tensions between China and the U.S.

 
  • Hikvision, a state-owned Chinese company that supplies video surveillance equipment and solutions, is enjoying good business in Singapore as it faces threats of tougher sanctions to be imposed by the U.S.

  • The Hangzhou-based company, which has dealings with over 180 countries and regions in the world, has government and commercial sector contracts in Singapore.

  • However, these dealings may have to be terminated if the U.S. does proceed to include the company in its SDN list, a list typically reserved for drug lords and violent groups.

  • The U.S. is targeting Hikvision for its involvement in the surveillance of the Xinjiang Uyghurs, a mostly-Muslim ethnic minority believed to be victims of human rights violations.







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