Chinese tech giants face scrutiny due to spy concerns

China-based tech giants are raising international concerns on national security. Beijing has continuously denied any link to cyber attacks or espionage through tech companies, but the western world keeps feeling threaten.

Huawei is facing accusations, that Beijing could use its 5G infrastructure for espionage, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Accusations that have made several countries ban Huawei from constructing their 5G networks.

Other countries, including Denmark and Sweden, have restricted the use of Huawei equipment in the building of their 5G infrastructure.

There are concerns, that Huawei’s 5G equipment could contain backdoors that provides the Chinese government with data that gives them access to communication networks and public utilities.

Huawei has denied the allegations, and has tried to distance itself from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The company has repeatedly stated, that the equipment has never been used to spy.

Not the only one

Huawei is not the only Chinese tech company under scrutiny. In November 2022, the Biden administration banned all sale and import from five Chinese companies. Among them was Huawei and Hikvision – a company that makes video surveillance equipment.

The use of Hikvision’s surveillance gear at government buildings has coursed worry, since the company is owned and controlled by the Chinese state.

An investigation found, that the devices may be reporting back to locations in China. This raised concerns, that the cameras may be used to spy on behalf of China.

Scandinavian ban

Denmark, the UK and the US have banned the use of Hikvision cameras. Meanwhile, the European Parliament removed Hikvision cameras from their buildings back in 2021.

The company, in which the Chinese Communist Party is a controlling shareholder, is contracted to operate Chinese state surveillance of Uyghur Muslims.

Norway’s state wealth fund have called for Hikvision to be excluded from its investment due to “an unacceptable risk that the company contribute to serious human rights violations.”

Experts warn, that the rising tension between the Western World and Beijing, could influence the technical landscape worldwide for years to come.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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