Billions of Security Cams up in Your Grill
Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Over a billion security cameras are set to spy on us by 2021, telling of a booming CCTV industry and a societal game-changer hiding in plain sight!
It might be shocking to know that, according to IHS Markit, there’s one camera per every 4.6 citizens in the United States. That’s a lot of cameras, but China can go one better. Despite its vast population, the Eastern superpower has a camera-to-civilian ratio of 4.1!
Now, as the world’s ultimate peeping tom, China is making a business out of its artificial intelligence-driven surveillance tech. Exporting it worldwide, the sums of money are untold, with telecoms equipment maker ZTE at the heart of a state-backed operation with Huawei to widen President Xi’s field of vision.
With its shares up almost 50% this year, ZTE has caught the attention of foreign investors. However, this is a high risk-high reward market play. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) was first to suspect surveillance data being fed back to Beijing. Now, politicians are on the case. The ability of other Chinese tech firms to do business internationally could be hamstrung if President Xi was found guilty of sniffing around the world’s liberal democracies uninvited.
Foreign investors aren’t allowed to buy shares with voting rights in China. President Xi calls the shots and sits on the board of most companies as your main business partner, so to invest out there, the political winds must blow in your favor. With 63 countries his customers, and the looky-loo industry showing no signs of slowing down, is President Xi a useful guy to have on your team or just a distracting liability?