BEIJING: High-tech surveillance has turned the Xinjiang region in western China into an incubator for automated authoritarianism that could spread across the country and beyond.
The system used there, created by a state-run defense manufacturer, uses military cyber techniques to monitor civilians.
Software sorts through billions of records to match faces from surveillance cameras to names, addresses, official identification numbers — and education history, family ties, even recent visits to places like hotels or internet cafes.
“It is a virtual cage,” some visitors have said.
The Trump administration, arguing that China is using technology to strengthen authoritarianism at home and abroad, is considering limits on Hikvision, a Chinese manufacturer of video surveillance products. Like the telecom giant Huawei, it could be halted from buying American software and semiconductors without approval from Washington.
Mobile carriers in Britain and Japan were reconsidering their ties to Huawei after Google’s decision this week to cut off support to the company.
President Xi Jinping has urged China to begin a modern “long march,” invoking a turning point in Communist Party history to suggest that Beijing has abandoned hopes of a trade deal with the US in the near-term.
– New York Times