Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co, a Chinese supplier of video surveillance products and solutions, has struck back at what it describes as "biased" media reports that have resulted in the removal of its surveillance cameras from a U.S. Army base due to "unfounded" security concerns.
A U.S. Army base in Missouri said it had removed five Hikvision cameras on the base because of "negative perception" after media reports, adding there were no apparent security risks.
"We never believed [the cameras] were a security risk. They were always on a closed network," The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing the chief of staff of the Army base.
Under the headline of "Army rips out Chinese-made surveillance cameras overlooking [U.S.] base," The Wall Street Journal said out that a report it published in November 2017 had "highlighted the prevalence in the [U.S.] of devices made by Hikvision" and that Hikvision is 42 percent owned by the Chinese government.
In a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday, Hikvision was defiant, dismissing any security risks of its products and attacking the media reports that it believed had caused the removal.
"Recent media reports about Hikvision and our products have inaccurately characterized our company, our products and our services. These opinions are filled with bias and conjecture. Some of these reports are misleading to readers and use deceitful headlines to attract attention," the statement read.
The statement said Hikvision does indeed face the threat of malicious attacks on its products, but adding that "we work diligently with the industry and authorities, as well as our customers, to prevent malicious attacks before they happen and combat them if they do."
The Wall Street Journal reported that a U.S. lawmaker had called a Congressional hearing to determine if Hikvision cameras pose potential risks to U.S. businesses.
The U.S. has adopted an increasingly aggressive stance in recent weeks toward Chinese technology companies, blocking mergers and acquisitions (M&As) involving Chinese firms and preventing Chinese-made devices from entering the U.S. market.
Recent M&As blocked by the U.S. government include a .2 billion deal for Alibaba Group's Ant Financial to purchase U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc and a deal between Huawei Technologies Co and U.S. carrier AT&T for the latter to carry Huawei's smartphones.
Chinese experts have called such moves protectionism and suggested they could mean a more turbulent time for U.S.-China trade ties. Officials at China's commerce and foreign affairs ministries have urged the U.S. to treat Chinese firms fairly.
Regarding the reported security concerns in the U.S., Hikvision said in its statement that "we are committed to upholding safety and protecting property, combating crime and countering terrorism; and we are helping customers operate their businesses more efficiently with our products and services."