The US is reportedly considering restricting Hikvision, a Chinese surveillance equipment provider active in Xinjiang, from buying US components, escalating already tense ties between the world’s two largest economies.
According to the New York Times, the US commerce department is considering placing Hikvision on a trade blacklist that would require US companies to obtain government approval before supplying it with components.
The report sent the company’s shares down, even as Hikvision said it had received no notice of the potential blacklisting and that its operations in Xinjiang had never been “inappropriate”.
China has come under increasing international scrutiny over mounting evidence of the mass surveillance and detentions of millions of members of a Muslim minority in Xinjiang.
Adding Hikvision to the blacklist would add to tensions between the US and China, which have been locked in a tariff war for most of the last year. It also raises concerns that the world’s two largest economies are on the edge of a full-blown tech cold war as the US moves to restrict Chinese technology.