Hikvision and Dahua Facilitating Genocidal Crimes in East Turkistan

Surveillance Briefings Hikvision Dahua 2023 (1)

For immediate release
October 17, 2023, 7:00 a.m. EDT
Contact: Omer Kanat, +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin, +1 (646) 906-7722

New research from the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) highlights the direct role Chinese surveillance companies, Hikvision and Dahua, play in ongoing atrocities in East Turkistan, along with their extensive reach in the global market. UHRP is calling for governments to impose export bans on surveillance components, procurement bans for taxpayer-funded surveillance systems, and investment bans on capital flows to these companies.

“Dahua and Hikvision are moral pariahs. They have no place in international markets,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “They are supplying the tools of a high tech genocide of the Uyghur people.”

UHRP’s two new research briefings describe the direct links between two major Chinese surveillance companies, Hikvision and Dahua, and atrocity crimes in East Turkistan, and how widely their camera systems are sold globally—in some cases directly to sensitive government departments in the United States and United Kingdom.

Hikvision and Dahua are directly involved in mass surveillance schemes targeting Uyghurs. The companies have secured lucrative contracts in the Uyghur region to supply, develop, and directly operate mass surveillance systems. Hikvision and Dahua camera networks have been installed in and around internment camps, schools, and mosques across the region.

Chinese authorities use Hikvision and Dahua cameras to track, monitor, and target Uyghurs. Police across the Uyghur region use Hikvision’s cameras and software as part of a mass surveillance and predictive policing system, the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP).

In addition to the companies’ direct role in atrocity crimes in the Uyghur region since 2016, Hikvision and Dahua play a dominant role in the global surveillance marketplace. Hikvision and Dahua are the world’s first and second largest surveillance technology companies, respectively, both manufacturing and selling tens of millions of cameras each year to the global market. 

Hikvision is a state-founded and controlled company and a major provider of surveillance technology to 155 countries. Dahua provides surveillance technology to 180 countries. As of 2021, more than 600,000 Hikvision surveillance camera networks were installed throughout the United States, and 250,000 were installed in the United Kingdom, 55,000 of which were in London.

As a result of their role in human rights abuses, Hikvision and Dahua have been sanctioned by the United States, and their cameras have been removed from government buildings in the U.K., Australia, and in buildings housing EU institutions. Calls for removal of the camera networks have been made by members of parliament in Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Bans on purchase of the equipment have also been implemented in Denmark’s Capital Region. 

UHRP recommends that governments enact export bans on components for surveillance systems; procurement bans for taxpayer-funded surveillance systems; and investment bans on capital flows to these companies.

These two briefings are the first and second in a planned series examining surveillance tech and its impact on Uyghurs in East Turkistan.

Read more:

UHRP Welcomes New Sanctions on Chinese DNA Company BGI for Targeting Uyghurs, March 7, 2023

UHRP Applauds New Bill on Magnitsky Sanctions for Chinese Tech Companies Enabling Genocide: Hikvision, Dahua, Tiandy and BGI, December 19, 2022

UHRP Testimony: Ending “Business as Usual” to Combat the Genocide of the Uyghurs: UHRP Testimony Before USCIRF, December 14, 2022

UHRP Welcomes Secondary Sanctions Bill for Those Doing Business with Genocide Perpetrators, August 3, 2022

Uyghur Human Rights Project applauds U.S. sanctions against Chinese entities and officials complicit in human rights violations, October 8, 2019