Indian Firm Scraps Security Camera Procurement Tender Due to Bias Toward China’s Hikvision

On July 2, the state-owned Railtel Corporation of India (RCILscrapped a tender issued in June 2020 to procure thermal surveillance cameras intended to detect COVID-19 symptoms, due the tender being designed for award to Chinese state-owned manufacturer, Hikvision. Competing vendors identified the biases in the tender language that clearly favored  DeepInMind – Hikvision’s proprietary artificial intelligence technology.

Hikvision maintains a 35% market share in India through its local subsidiary, Prama Hikvision Indian Private Limited. The company has won several public tender contracts in the country, and, in 2019, Hikvision established its first overseas production facility in India under the “Make in India” localization initiative.

The decision by the Indian firm to revise its tender arrives amid a trend of heightened scrutiny in India toward Chinese investment in the country, particularly as border tensions between India and China escalate.  A week prior, 59 Chinese apps were banned by the Indian government, which cited data security issues associated with Chinese software.  Contract terminations of various Chinese infrastructure projects in the rail, road, and energy sectors are also underway.