The government pledged to publish a timeline to remove equipment produced by companies subject to China’s National Intelligence Law from its sites…reports Asian Lite News
The government is to strip Chinese surveillance cameras from its sensitive government sites over national security measures related to China.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made his stance on China clear at the G7 summit last month, saying the country posed the “biggest challenge” in the world to global security and prosperity.
The government pledged to publish a timeline to remove equipment produced by companies subject to China’s National Intelligence Law from its sites.
The government said: “By committing to this timeline, we are providing reassurance and urgency around the removal plans.”
While not naming which surveillance camera companies would be affected, the UK has previously called for sanctions on the sale and use of cameras made by Hikvision and Dahua – two partly state-owned Chinese firms, over privacy concerns and their reported involvement in human rights abuses in China.
Beijing said it “firmly opposes” using the idea of national security to hinder Chinese companies in the UK. A spokesperson for the UK’s Chinese Embassy said in a statement: “The Chinese government has always encouraged Chinese companies to conduct international investment and co-operation in accordance with market principles, international rules and local laws.
“We urge the UK side to stop political manipulation and provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for the normal operation of Chinese companies in the UK.”
Hikvision, which makes a range of security equipment, said: “We believe that the possible action by the UK government is a further step up of the mounting geopolitical tensions being expressed through technology bans, which by no means relates to the security of Hikvision’s products.”
Meanwhile, three of the UK’s biggest supermarkets, including Morrisons and Tesco, have banned Chinese CCTV cameras from their stores due to security and ethical concerns.
The government also suspended Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok from its phones in March this year, while in 2020 it said it would ban Huawei from its 5G network.