Government departments have been ordered to stop installing surveillance cameras made by Chinese firms on “sensitive sites” due to security concerns.
The order applies to “visual surveillance systems” made by firms subject to China’s national security law, which requires companies to co-operate with Beijing’s security services.
Whitehall ministries have been told existing equipment should not be connected to departmental core networks and consideration should be given to removing it entirely.
The shift in policy was announced by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden and follows concern in Westminster about the use of Chinese-made equipment.
The move follows concerns raised by MPs and a surveillance watchdog.
It was reported Hikvision cameras were used inside the Department of Health and Social Care, where security concerns were raised over leaked CCTV showing then-health secretary Matt Hancock kissing an aide.
Alicia Kearns, chairwoman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee and the China Research Group of MPs, welcomed the move but said it should go further.
The Tory MP said: “Removing Chinese surveillance cameras from the estate is a step in the right direction – but we can go much further.”
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