Technology CES may be helping Chinese surveillance companies clean up image, experts warn
What Chinese Students Abroad Really Think About Hong Kong
As tensions have swelled on Australian university campuses over the democracy movement in Hong Kong, the battle lines seem to have been neatly drawn: Chinese students on the side of China, and Chinese-Australian students on the side of Hong Kong. But inside the halls, the reality is more complicated. Views are often less absolute, and loyalties not so predictably traced. Some students from mainland China shout their allegiance to their homeland; others privately voice sympathy for the Hong Kong protesters.
CES is often considered the Super Bowl of tech, withflocking to Las Vegas every January to show off innovations like and . But human rights and privacy advocates say they're worried that the world's largest consumer tech trade show in the world is now being used to give credibility to two Chinese surveillance companies flagged for human rights violations.
The first, iFLYTEK, is. The second is Hikvision, the largest surveillance camera supplier in the world, whose US arm EZVIZ sells smart home products. Earlier this month, the , essentially blacklisting them from doing business with US companies due to rights violations and concerns over surveillance overreach.
China showcases fearsome new missiles to counter U.S. at military parade
China showcases fearsome new missiles to counter U.S. at military paradeSlideshow by photo services
After a month of being placed on the Commerce Department entity list, iFLYTEK and EZVIZ are still listed to attend CES 2020, put on by the US trade group, the Consumer Technology Association.
Their presence at the show, which gives them a global platform and an opportunity to present themselves as friendly, tech-savvy organizations, could lend them an air of legitimacy right after the US government has sanctioned them for their actions.
Chinese snooping tech spreads to nations vulnerable to abuse
When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals started appearing in the streets of Belgrade as part of a major surveillance project, some protesters began having second thoughts about joining anti-government demonstrations in the Serbian capital. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals started appearing in the streets of Belgrade as part of a major surveillance project, some protesters began having second thoughts about joining anti-government demonstr require(["medianetNativeAdOnA
"These kinds of relations help to normalize companies that have a role in contributing to human rights abuses in China," Human Rights Watch senior researcher Maya Wang said. "It desensitizes us from asking more questions and trying to put in place mechanisms to protect human rights before it's too late."
Hikvision and EZVIZ didn't respond to multiple requests for comment.
A spokeswoman for the Consumer Technology Association said the group was reviewing iFLYTEK, which CNET previously. The group didn't respond to requests for comment about EZVIZ -- a subsidiary of Hikvision. And the trade organization said on Friday it didn't have any updates on its review process.
But others are asking the organization to take action.
"I'd urge CES to rethink this decision. Participants in China's Xinjiang concentration camps should not get to showcase their products at America's premier consumer electronics show," Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, said in a statement.
Chinese auto brand Zotye signs US dealers in 100 markets
The Chinese cars are coming, and it appears US dealers are pretty receptive.China's Zotye, however, is sailing through the process with little to complain about, according to an Automotive News report on Tuesday. The company's CEO told the publication it's signed dealers in 100 US markets so far and it's far ahead of schedule in its launch plans. Ahead of its planned US debut, Zotye USA CEO, Duke Hale, said the company is hoping to find dealers in 250 markets. That number will eventually grow to 325.
EZVIZ's ties to Hikvision
EZVIZ, created in 2013, is described as a smart home security company, andas a business based in California. It provides and offers gadgets like video doorbells that can be integrated with voice assistants including Amazon's Alexa.
The company also offers tech that can create databases of your friends and family members so its cameras can recognize who's at your doorstep. In 2016, EZVIZ said it had more than 10 million users.
"EZVIZ creates a safe, convenient and smart life for users through its intelligent devices, cloud-based platform and AI technology," the company says on its website.
EZVIZ is open about its ties to its parent company, but it doesn't mention Hikvision's history of human rights violations in China on its website.
The Commerce Department added Hikvision, alongside iFLYTEK, to its economic blacklist on Oct. 7, citing evidence that they were helping oppress Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
Ivanka Trump expected to speak at CES 2020
The talk has not been announced by the CTA, but is scheduled to happen on Jan. 8 at the tech trade show.CES is one of the most influential tech trade shows in the world, with companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple set to appear at the Las Vegas convention in January. Ivanka Trump has played a major role in the White House's technology outreach, joining Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a tech jobs initiative announcement in October and accompanying the president's visit to Apple's production facility in November.
"Specifically, these entities have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups," the Commerce Department said in a statement.
Hikvision has received more than $270 million in contracts to provide thousands of security cameras in China, many of which areAFP News.
Hikvision's reputation has been well-known to the UK government as well. In March, members of Parliament called out the company for its. The lawmakers criticized Hikvision for its surveillance and facial recognition abilities, writing that "the sophistication of this technology and its sinister use is a serious cause for concern."
iFLYTEK was found to be working with police in China to build a voice recognition database, which officers could use to identify targeted voice in phone calls, according to theorganization.
CES award winners
Given Hikvision and iFLYTEK's public history of human rights abuses, CES' decisions to give the companies a platform to showcase their technology and honor them with Innovation Awards is concerning, say human rights advocates.
CES 2020 preview: PCs, laptops, tablets and gaming
Laptops and tablet move into new, experimental forms, while gaming PCs amp up the power.These are the PC trends and themes we expect to see at CES 2020.
Two years after the Human Rights Watch report was released,at CES in the "Tech for a Better World" category.
EZVIZ, Hikvision's subsidiary, won anfor a smart door viewer that allows users to create a database of trusted visitors.
When asked about the concerns around iFLYTEK on Oct. 9, CTA said it needed time to take action as the US government's entity list had been released two days prior. Critics counter that iFLYTEK and Hikvision's human rights abuses had been known for years.
"Giving an award for a company that has been documented to be involved in a human rights violations in a severely repressed part of China seems rather inappropriate and I would hope that the organizers evaluate the decision," Wang said.
The CTA didn't comment on the status of iFLYTEK and EZVIZ's awards, but the two companies have been using the organizations endorsements to help promote their businesses.
"We're honored to be recognized by an organization like CTA," Albert Lin, general manager of EZVIZ, said in a. "EZVIZ is committed to providing intuitive smart home products and applications that enable customers to see, capture, share and protect what's valuable to them."
iFLYTEK told"a great platform to showcase our innovation capacity."
These companies should not be allowed to showcase their technology and products at such a major tech show and clean up their public image, said Albert Fox Cahn, director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project.
"It's deeply disturbing to see the firms that power ethnic cleansing given this sort of public platform," said Cahn, whose nonprofit is devoted to stopping discriminatory surveillance. "When a company sells the tech to perpetuate one of the gravest human rights abuses of the last 50 years, they should lose any place in our consumer economy."
CES 2020: What to expect .
We're only a few days into 2020, but we're already busy getting ready for the Consumer Electronics Show. The annual event for all things tech kicks off in Las Vegas next week, and we'll be there to check it all out. Here's a sneak peek at what to expect. Screens of all shapes and sizes It wouldn't be CES without being surrounded by a plethora of screens, and 2020 looks to be no different. Like in years past, expect there to be bigger and better TV screens on display (no pun intended). Take 8K, for example. No one really needs an 8K television (considering the absolute dearth of 8K media out there), but that won't stop manufacturers from churning them out.
Police Unlock AI's Potential to Monitor, Surveil and Solve Crimes | WSJ
Law enforcement agencies like the New Orleans Police Department are adopting artificial-intelligence based systems to analyze surveillance footage.
WATCH: Tech Crunch SF Disrupt 2019: Day three October 4, 2019
TechCrunch's Startup Battlefield is the world's preeminent startup competition. Startup Battlefield features 15-30 top early stage startups pitching top judges in ...