Chinese smart city technology could be the next object to be banned by the West. British intelligence agencies are pushing for new restrictions on the use of Chinese smart city technology because of fears that Beijing will use it for espionage, surveillance or the collection of sensitive data.
In a security, defense and diplomacy strategy released this week, the British government laid the groundwork for future restrictions, noting that the country would “remain open” to trade and investment from Beijing, but also protect itself from deals that could have “adverse effects” on its well-being and security.
Smart city technology, which has become a ubiquitous term for urban communications systems, from automated transportation to traffic control, smart power and video surveillance, is widely used in China, including its capital Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Key Chinese technology suppliers include camera maker Hikvision, Alibaba, which provides cloud services and software, and Huawei, which is involved in British smart city projects as a supplier of hardware, software and telecommunications equipment to companies such as BT.
Note that according to Reuters, at least half of London’s boroughs have purchased and installed surveillance systems from Chinese suppliers, including Hikvision equipment.