The UK government has advised departments to replace Chinese surveillance equipment from sensitive sites including government buildings, based on a recent review of security risks.

Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden said that “The review has concluded that, in light of the threat to the U.K. and the increasing capability and connectivity of these systems, additional controls are required.”

Mr Dowden said: “Since security considerations are always paramount around these sites, we are taking action now to prevent any security risks materialising.”

 It was reported that Hikvision cameras were used inside the Department of Health and Social Care, when security concerns were raised over the leaked CCTV footage of Matt Hancock kissing an aide in 2021.

The government’s independent biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner Fraser Sampson said: “Almost every aspect of our lives is now under surveillance using advanced systems designed by, and purchased from, companies under the control of other governments, governments to whom those companies have data-sharing obligations within their own domestic legal framework.”

However, a spokesperson for Hikvision said “it is categorically false to represent Hikvision as a threat to national security” and that “No respected technical institution or assessment has come to this conclusion.