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China's Surveillance Boom

Thirty years ago, the city of Shenzhen didn't exist. As an economic experiment area of reform and opening up, it has achieved unprecedented development. Now, as China prepares to showcase its economic advances during the Olympics in Beijing, Shenzhen is once again serving as a laboratory, a testing ground for the next phase of this vast social experiment. Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world. (Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras.) The security cameras are just one part of a much broader high-tech surveillance and censorship program known in China as "Golden Shield." On April 28, China Security & Surveillance Technology, Inc. CSR('CSST'), a leading provider of security solutions in China, announced that it has signed a framework agreement valued at approximately RMB 200 million (approximately $28.6 million) for a 2nd phase safe city project with the government of Qingzhou City in Shandong Province. This agreement is a result of the successful implementation of the 1st project phase last year. Phase 1 of this project, valued at approximately RMB 12 million, involved the installation of a traffic monitoring system and installation of surveillance cameras deployed within one district in Qingzhou City. Phase 2 of this project involves an expansion of the installations, including traffic monitoring systems and surveillance cameras and network control centers, to other districts within Qingzhou City. In addition, other Chinese provinces or cities are in a tense process for the construction of similar project. Based in Shenzhen, China Security manufactures, distributes, installs and maintains security and surveillance systems throughout the PRC. China Security has manufacturing facilities located in China and an R&D facility which maintains an exclusive collaboration agreement with Beijing University. China Security has built a diversified customer base through its extensive sales and service network that includes numerous points of presence throughout the PRC. Executives of Chinese surveillance companies say they are helping their government reduce street crime, preserve social stability and prevent terrorism. They note that London has a more sophisticated surveillance system, although the Chinese system will soon be far more extensive.The Chinese government trade association for surveillance companies, which also regulates the industry, predicts that the surveillance market here will expand to more than $43.1 billion by 2010, compared with less than $500 million in 2003. Under the Safe Cities program adopted by the government last winter, 660 cities are starting work on high-tech surveillance systems. With the Beijing Olympic Games to be held, China's Surveillance will be developed by leaps and bounds. In view of China's huge market and business opportunities, foreign manufacturers have also invested in China and set up factories. This injects a new vitality into further China's cameras industry

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