Your taxes go from your pocket, to the government, to Hikvision and potentially on to the Chinese government.
According to press reports, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has banned the purchase of CCTV cameras manufactured by the Chinese-state controlled Hikvision.
On 16 April 2022 the Daily Telegraph reported that DHSC, one of at least three government departments using Hikvision cameras, had taken the decision to not buy any more Hikvision equipment for ethical reasons, paving the way for the rest of the UK government to follow suit.
Last year Free Tibet issued Freedom of Information requests to every government department and every local authority in the UK to find out about UK taxpayer money being handed to a company whose cameras are part of the oppressive surveillance state in Tibet. The investigation found that at least three government departments, as well as nearly three-quarters of councils, own or use Hikvision equipment. We also uncovered indications that the Ministry of Defence has security concerns about Hikvision and has advised other departments not to buy their equipment any more.
Thousands of Free Tibet supporters signed a petition calling for Hikvision to be banned from the UK and many others contacted their councillors to ask them to stop using Hikvision.
Hikvision is one of the biggest manufacturers of CCTV cameras in the world and it has a key role in making Tibet the least free place in the world, according to Freedom House. An estimated one million Hikvision cameras are used in the UK and experts are concerned that they could be used for spying by the Chinese government.
The news from DHSC is a first indication that the government is listening to concerns about Hikvision and could take further action to limit its reach in the UK. This could shut off a multi-million pound money pipeline from UK taxpayers to one of the Chinese government’s key collaborators.
Free Tibet is working with partners like Big Brother Watch and Hong Kong Watch to push decision-makers at all levels of the UK government to stop Hikvision and bring a free Tibet closer.
Nearly two-thirds of UK councils use CCTV linked to Tibetan oppression…
Hikvision is the largest manufacturer of video surveillance equipment in the world and it is controlled by the Chinese state.