Chinese CCTV manufacturer with factory in Rotherham responds after MPs call for UK ban

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A Chinese CCTV manufacturer with a factory in Rotherham has accused ‘fringe groups’ of demonising the company after MPs called for its products to be banned in the UK.

Hikvision, which owns Pyronix, based in Hellaby, said it took ‘all reports of human rights very seriously’ after 67 MPs and Lords condemned its alleged involvement in ‘technology-enabled human rights abuses in China’.

The calls for a ban, co-ordinated by campaign group Big Brother Watch, were reported by the BBC.

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Pyronix on Eden Close Hellaby.Pyronix on Eden Close Hellaby.
Pyronix on Eden Close Hellaby.

They echo the Foreign Affairs Select Committee's July 2021 report, which recommended ‘the Government forbids surveillance companies like Hikvision – which provide surveillance equipment to the (Uyghur) detention camps – from operating in the UK’.

Pyronix was set up by Julie Kenny in 1986. She sold the £25m turnover business to Hikvision in 2016. It was its first factory outside China.

The firm’s most recent accounts state it employs 244. It has a head office, factory and distribution centre in Hellaby, an innovation centre in Doncaster and an office in Winnersh, Berkshire.

A Hikvision spokesperson said: “CCTV has always played a critical role in the UK in the fight against crime and terrorism. Hikvision is proud of the role we play in that.

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“The UK also has fringe groups who would like to see a massive reduction of CCTV in the UK who are willing to throw allegations around about CCTV, and who would lie to demonise Hikvision.

“Hikvision takes all reports of human rights very seriously and recognises our responsibility for protecting people. We have been engaging with the UK government and parliament to clarify misunderstandings about the company and address these concerns.”

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