Over fifty thousand Hikvision networks were found in London. It would probably be several times over that from my experience. Samuel Woodhams is a researcher at Top10VPN who carried out the study.

Concerns about national security have been caused by the prevalence of Hikvision cameras overseas. The US banned Hikvision from holding any contracts with the government.

The fact that Hikvision was involved in China's policies against the Uyghurs made it notorious. In order to aid the government's control over the region, a number of cameras with advanced facial recognition have been installed. Hikvision has been involved in this activity. At least $275 million in government contracts has been received by the company, which has developed artificial intelligence cameras that can detect physical features of Uyghurs.

Hikvision responded with a statement that did not address the questions directly but said the company has and will continue to comply with applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates.

The entire region has been turned into a closed system thanks to the ways in which companies like Hikvision are able to hold people in place. The author of In the Camp: China's High-Tech Penal Colony says that people often talk about it as an open-air prison. Without these tech companies, that wouldn't happen.

Uncharted waters

Adding Hikvision would open up a new front in international sanctions, one in which tech companies increasingly find themselves in, and it would do more than ramp up tensions between the US and China.

After the sanction is announced, people could be criminally prosecuted for doing business with the company. Other banks and other financial institutions around the world won't do business with you because they want to maintain their access to the US dollar and to US financial markets.

This would mean that Hikvision wouldn't be able to sell its cameras outside of China, and its international revenues wouldn't exist. It is not clear if governments and companies will be asked to replace their cameras immediately. Things get even more difficult when it comes to the Hikvision services. Is it possible for current Hikvision users to accept software updates? The company has cloud storage. The US government may make an exception for this because traditional enforcement of the list may become impractical in the digital era.