RFE: Three US-Black Listed Chinese Companies Present in Serbia

Out of eight Chinese technological companies specialized in video surveillance, which the US has blacklisted in early October for violation of human rights of the Muslim minority in North-West China, three are present in Serbia in some way, Radio Free Europe (RFE) reports on Wednesday.

According to RFE, these are companies Dahua Technology, Hikvision, and Iflytek, whereas only Company Dahua Technology has an official representative office in Serbia, specialized for video surveillance at airports.

Its products are used by Belgrade’s “Nikola Tesla” airport.

The management of Chinese company Dahua Technology has refused to reply to RFE questions related to its operations in Serbia and possible accords with the Serbian government and its institutions.

The cabinet of ministers without portfolio in the Serbian government Nenad Popovic, assigned to innovation and technological development, has stated that they lack information on whether or not Serbia has concluded agreements with the three mentioned technological companies from China.

Chinese company Hikvison from Serbia has not registered its representative office, but their video surveillance products are available in Serbia through Pancevo-based company KBC Security, which according to the Business Register Agency is registered for providing security system services.

Minister of Interior (MUP) told RFE that it does not maintain cooperation with any of the three Chinese companies, but that the ministry has entered into agreements with Chinese company Huawei, also specialized in video surveillance, which has been on the US blacklist since May of 2019, following alleged wiretapping and transferring of sensitive information to the Chinese authorities.

Huawei cameras for facial and car register plates recognition have already been installed at several hundreds of locations in the Serbian capital, but details of this cooperation “are kept far from the public eye”.

The MUP refused to make available data of cooperation with that company, labeling it “state, service, business, and other secrets”.

The RFE complained of that decision to the Commissioner for free access to information of public importance, but the procedure is still pending.

These camera recordings have recently been (illegally) used in a series of anti-opposition reports on pro-regime TV Pink channel. Earlier, Montenegro portal Borba.me released these videos, claiming it had obtained them from a regional intelligence service.