Chinese companies remain at the forefront when it comes to providing advanced artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) tools that enable governments to carry out mass surveillance. These firms are seeking out new markets vigorously, and state subsidies often support their efforts. Governments around the world have eagerly adopted the low-cost imports enabled by these policies: Surveillance cameras manufactured by Hikvision and Dahua now account for “nearly 40 percent” of the global market .Chinese surveillance technology is used in over eighty countries spanning every region of the world.
PRC surveillance exports build on the continuing development of these technologies at home . Despite international outrage over surveillance practices in Xinjiang, firms such as Huawei and Dahua have been working with the Chinese government to pilot new systems that include emotion recognition software (applications that purport to infer an individual’s emotional state) and ethnic identification techniques (programs that use information from facial scans to infer conclusions about race) targeting China’s Uyghur minority population . Researchers indicate that the PRC has a “burgeoning market for emotion recognition technologies” with little oversight or public consultation.