Chinese camera firm says no data violation

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/23 0:28:39 Last Updated: 2016/11/23 10:57:40

A Chinese video camera equipment supplier of the US Embassy in Afghanistan said on Tuesday that the company has always committed to product safety and operated in an open and market-oriented manner.

The comment follows media reports that said that the US embassy has stopped using the manufacturer's Internet-enabled cameras, probably due to security concerns.

On Monday, the Voice of America (VOA) cited a relevant unnamed official with the State Department who said that the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan has stopped using cameras that were produced by a Chinese manufacturer named Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, and installed to monitor non-sensitive electrical closets for theft prevention. But the official was not clear about the reason for the removal.

In a response, the company said that it is unclear about the equipment procurement of the US embassy in Afghanistan, as their products are sold through agencies or franchisers to middlemen in the overseas market, according to a statement sent to the Global Times on Tuesday. It is up to those companies "to apply the equipment to the corresponding projects and industries," said the statement.

The VOA report also cited two employees of a video surveillance equipment company in Florida as saying that "Hikvision devices are engineered for effortless hacking." The machine may also have saved information and send back data to the Chinese government, said the employees.

As response, Hikvision said "it has always been committed to the Internet and information safety of its products, with research expenditures devoted and professional teams built up to continuously improve security," said the statement.

In addition, the report also suggested that Hikvision maintains strong ties with Chinese government, as more than 42 percent of the company is owned by several Chinese State-owned enterprises.

"We are an independently operated public company, with a diverse shareholding structure," the company's statement noted.

In addition to some SOES, the top investors also include UBS AG and JP Morgan, according to the statement.

"It is a common assumption in the US to think that the Chinese government and enterprises are monitoring their private space," Qin An, deputy director of China Information Security Magazine, noting that the Chinese government does not possess such ability.

Neither has the government invented such a system, Qin said. 

The US authorities should not perceive Chinese companies as an enemy. Instead, they are expected to cooperate with the Chinese government to address potential safety and terrorist issues, Qin said.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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