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U.S. Commerce Department Places Restrictions on Chinese Video Surveillance and AI Firms

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Chinese firms placed on “Entity List” due to implication in human rights violations

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a rule that places Dahua and Hikvision among eight Chinese companies and 20 Chinese public security bureaus on the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security “Entity List.”  

The Entity List imposes certain export restrictions on those entities who the federal government believes have acted or may be acting contrary to U.S. foreign policy and national security interests. The stated reasoning from the Department of Commerce’s filing was that the “entities have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups.”

The list of impacted Chinese technology companies includes Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. (Hikvision), iFlytek Co, Megvii Technology, SenseTime, Xiamen Meiya Pico Information Co, Yitu Technology, Yixin Science and Technology and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. (Dahua).

The export restrictions prohibit hardware, software and technology from being provided to companies on the Entity List unless these transactions are authorized by the federal government.

The rule has received immediate coverage in the media, including Bloomberg and Reuters.

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