Home » World News » Amazon turns to Chinese firm on US blacklist to meet thermal camera needs
Amazon turns to Chinese firm on US blacklist to meet thermal camera needs
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NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc has bought cameras to take temperatures of workers during the coronavirus pandemic from a firm the United States blacklisted over allegations it helped China detain and monitor the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
China's Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co Ltd shipped 1,500 cameras to Amazon this month in a deal valued close to $10 million, one of the people said. At least 500 systems from Dahua - the blacklisted firm – are for Amazon's use in the United States, another person said.
The Amazon procurement, which has not been previously reported, is legal because the rules control U.S. government contract awards and exports to blacklisted firms, but they do not stop sales to the private sector.
However, the United States “considers that transactions of any nature with listed entities carry a 'red flag' and recommends that U.S. companies proceed with caution,'' according to the Bureau of Industry and Security's website. Dahua has disputed the designation.
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The deal comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of a shortage of temperature-reading devices and said it wouldn't halt certain pandemic uses of thermal cameras that lack the agency's regulatory approval. Top U.S.-based maker FLIR Systems Inc has faced an up to weeks-long order backlog, forcing it to prioritize products for hospitals and other critical facilities.