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Covid tech that is intimately tied to China’s surveillance state


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Dahua was just one of the Chinese companies that was able to capitalize on the pandemic. As covid began to move beyond the borders of China in early 2020, a group of medical research companies owned by the Beijing Genomics Institute, or BGI, radically expanded, establishing 58 labs in 18 countries and selling 35 million covid-19 tests to more than 180 countries.

In March 2020, companies such as Russell Stover Chocolates and US Engineering, a Kansas City, Missouri–based mechanical contracting company, bought $1.2 million worth of tests and set up BGI lab equipment in University of Kansas Medical System facilities.

And while Dahua sold its equipment to companies like Amazon, Megvii, one of its main rivals, deployed heat-mapping systems to hospitals, supermarkets, campuses in China, and to airports in South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Yet, while the speed and intention of this response to protect workers in the absence of an effective national-level US response was admirable, these Chinese companies are also tied up in forms of egregious human rights abuses.

MIT Tech Review

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