Three major retail chains announced that they would no longer sell video surveillance hardware from companies linked to human rights abuses.
Home Depot, Lowe's, and Best Buy announced that they had removed all surveillance technology made by Chinese companies Lorex and Ezviz due to their connections.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Home Depot said it's "committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical sourcing, and we immediately stopped selling products from Lorex when this was brought to our attention." The company also said that it had stopped selling Ezviz products. A Best Buy spokesperson affirmed that the company is "discontinuing its relationship" with Lorex and Ezviz.
Both Lorex and Ezviz are providers of home security systems, including cameras and smart home accessories. They are also both owned by Chinese companies: Lorex is a subsidiary of Dahua Technology, and Ezviz is a video surveillance camera brand owned by Hikvision.
Hikvision and Dahua were added to the U.S. government's economic blacklist in 2019 after human rights watchdogs discovered that the companies were connected to China's imprisonment and persecution of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Both Hikvision and Dahua supply surveillance equipment used to spy on the Uyghur population.
The United States has warned against doing business in China, noting that the Chinese Communist Party's genocide against the Uyghurs and its reliance on forced Uyghur labor is pervasive. Hikvision also has affiliations with the CCP.
In 2019, Sen. Tom Cotton called Hikvision and Dahua "Puppets of the Chinese Communist Party" and urged the U.S. government to deny the companies access to the Western market.
The U.S. House passed a bill on Oct. 21 to ensure the FCC "does not approve radio frequency devices that pose a national security risk."
Walmart and Costco continue to stock Lorex and Ezviz products despite human rights abuse concerns.
Lowe's, Home Depot, Best Buy, Lorex, and Ezviz did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Washington Examiner.
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Original Author: Christopher Hutton
Original Location: Retail chains remove Chinese surveillance technology from shelves