Government Officials in China have stated concern that the country’s growing surveillance industry is depending too much on foreign cameras, risking the country’s security. In recent years, China has seen an immense growth in the use of surveillance equipment in public areas, as well as high-security facilities such as military bases and airports. Government officials claim that the standard of video compression found in foreign cameras, currently governing the market, is not in line with the country’s security standards, and thus becomes a threat to national security.
According to market research conducted by Frost & Sullivan approximately 80 percent of the Chinese surveillance market is commanded by such multinational corporations as the US based Cisco systems, Korea’s Samsung group and Japan’s Sony Corp. Almost all surveillance cameras use a compression code standard known as H.264. The standard was established by ITU, the International Telecommunications Union, an agency of the UN. But China, aiming to diminish its reliance on foreign manufacturers has developed a different standard, known as SVAC (Surveillance Video and Audio Coding). The code has not yet been officially recognized as a mandatory standard, but it has been in government use since last May.