Hikvision, a video surveillance company with ties to the Chinese government, is working with a former U.S. government official, according to records.
Hikvision’s lobbying firm, Mercury Public Affairs, in June announced the hiring of Peter Kucik, a former sanctions policy advisor in the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The Chinese government founded Hikvision and is its “controlling shareholder,” according to IPVM.
Kucik will help the corporation navigate recent U.S. government actions against China, Axios reported.
In 2019, the Commerce Department curtailed Hikvision’s ability to do business with American companies, according to Axios.
Last summer, the Defense Department added Hikvision to a list of companies “owned or controlled” by the Chinese military.
Hikvision disputes that categorization and says it has never “conducted research and development work for Chinese military applications,” according to Axios.
In June, President Joe Biden prohibited U.S. entities from investing in Hikvision and dozens of other Chinese corporations to address “the threat posed by the military-industrial complex of the People’s Republic of China.”
The company is also allegedly linked to the surveillance of Uyghur mosques and detention camps in Xinjiang, Axios reported.
Hikvision denies this allegation as well, saying it has not committed “any inappropriate actions in Xinjiang.”
The Wall Street Journal reported in May that “Hikvision sold drones and other accessory equipment to the Chinese air force in 2019 and was considered a top-tier supplier to the nation’s military in 2014.”
According to the report, footage from state television showed a Chinese soldier holding a drone-jamming weapon with Hikvision’s logo on it.
Kucik registered himself under the Foreign Agents Registration Act this month as a “strategic consultant and regulatory advisor” for Mercury.
Records state that his role includes “strategic consulting, lobbying, public affairs, and government relations, including outreach to U.S. officials.”
Kucik is not the first U.S. official hired by Mercury, according to Axios.
In June, the company hired former Democratic Connecticut Rep. Toby Moffett. Moffett was one of Biden’s advisers during his 2008 presidential bid.
The company also got former Democratic California Sen. Barbara Boxer on board, though she distanced herself from the job after facing criticism, Axios reported.
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