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China tech

China's 'sharp eyes' offer chance to take surveillance industry global

Trade war tensions threaten overseas ambitions of public safety players

China's facial recognition technology identifies visitors in a display at the Digital China Exhibition in Fuzhou, Fujian province, last month.   © Reuters

SHENZHEN/HONG KONG/TAIPEI -- China's security industry is booming, driven by Beijing's drive to install state of the art surveillance technology on every street corner. Now, however -- just as many companies are beginning to succeed in markets beyond China's borders -- a new front may be opening up in Washington's trade war with China that could hinder those overseas ambitions.

Last month shares in a host of Chinese surveillance companies slumped amid reports that the U.S. was set to extend its offensive against China's Huawei Technologies to the public safety industry that tracks the country's 1.4 billion citizens. The New York Times suggested that the Trump administration was considering stopping the supply of U.S. components to Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, the world leader in video surveillance, and four other Chinese companies.

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