US FCC Bans Chinese Security Cameras Citing National Security Risk

Things haven’t gotten any easier for the China-based maker of cameras and telecommunications equipment in the United States.

Low-angle photography of a building with a security camera in the foreground
Low angle photography of building with security camera in foreground. Photo by Enrique Alarcon

Not only are there concerns about smartphone companies like Huawei and drone giant DJI, but also the US government is somewhat skeptical of companies like Dahua and Hikvision, makers of security equipment like cameras used for surveillance. Citing national security concerns, the FCC has banned the sale of new equipment by these companies, reports the Wall Street Journal.

For the companies involved, that was somewhat to be expected and they opposed the decision, arguing that smaller companies and organizations with more constrained budgets would be negatively impacted by this measure effectively limiting the number of choices consumers have in this area.

The reasons for the ban match the FCC’s arguments outlined in a similar previous action; that is, the company’s close relationship, real or perceived, with the government in the PRC is a sticking point for government agencies.

In terms of scale, the WSJ tells us that Hikvision, in particular, is the fifth largest maker of surveillance equipment in the United States. Worldwide, however, it is the number one company by revenue and, by such estimates, is not a minor player by any means in the market. Then again, as many analysts point out, Huawei is no small player around the world either and still infuriated US regulatory agencies when the government cut subsidies for companies that buy equipment from it and rival company ZTE.

While the company can appeal this decision, and they certainly will, it’s unclear whether they will prevail in court.

Of course, any thoughts you may have about the FCC and China’s security camera ban are welcome in the comments.

Check out our other headlines at this link.

[The Wall Street Journal]

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