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Chinese surveillance cameras are popular around the world for their low cost and ease of use. (Photo by Naoki Matsuda)
The age of 'Great China'

Eyes everywhere: China's surveillance equipment spreads worldwide

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Nikkei staff writers | China

SHANGHAI/TOKYO/LONDON -- The tone of British lawmaker David Alton, a member of the House of Lords and a well-known human rights advocate, was sharper than usual. China's Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology is "directly linked to the surveillance state," he declared at a news conference on Dec. 9 last year. The company's surveillance cameras, he said, can be found "on every high street in this country."

The same day, a "people's tribunal" of British lawyers and others deemed China's human rights violations against Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang "genocide." Alton said that Hikvision was complicit in those abuses, and then went even further. "Data collection is something we should be very very concerned about," he said, expressing concern that data from security cameras in the U.K. might leak to other countries.

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