• Germany edition
 
Bosch under fire for China prison tech sales
Photo: Bosch internet website screenshot

Bosch under fire for China prison tech sales

Published: 08 Dec 2012 14:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Dec 2012 14:36 GMT+01:00

Bosch, the southern German maker of household appliances and DIY tools, is touting for trade with Chinese jails - offering surveillance systems to spy on prisoners at visiting time.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Saturday that Bosch had been a prominent exhibitor at the "Security China 2012" trade fair in Beijing.

The Swabian company also had a crudely animated internet site in Chinese which showed prisoners in orange jumpsuits being watched. "Trust us when it's about your security," is the Bosch tagline.

Human rights activists criticised the videos, one of which the Süddeutsche Zeitung said showed a guard bringing a prisoner into a visiting room complete with a glass wall.

As the prisoner sits down, the Chinese subtitles say, "Observe the conversation between visitors and prisoner. You decide how long the channels of communication are open."

The site has since been taken off the internet.

"The People's Republic of China is an authoritarian state which systematically abuses human rights. It is unacceptable that Bosch intends to profit from helping to maintain the repressive system," Kai Müller, manager of the International Campaign for Tibet told the paper.

Wolfgang Büttner from Human Rights Watch also criticised the sale of surveillance technology to such countries.

And Volker Beck, parliamentary leader of the Green Party told the paper, "It is shameful that a German company like Bosch intends to profit from this system." He said firms which sold surveillance and security technology had to be particularly careful where they went.

But Bosch said it was being attacked unfairly, saying it was keeping to all the rules and agreements regarding foreign sales, and thus had, "no basic misgivings about being economically active in China."

A spokesman said the firm was contributing to positive developments in Chinese society and economy - and added that the sales were not being made directly to prisons or authorities, but to electronics dealers. Bosch could not control where the products were later used, the spokesman said.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:21 December 8, 2012 by raandy
If it isn't Bosch it will be someone else.
05:13 December 9, 2012 by mobiusro
Yeah and in other shocking news, companies are motivated only by profit.
Today's headlines
Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes
Leonardo had to have a finger and toe amputated after staff refused to call an ambulance. Photo: DPA

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes

A political row has broken out in Bavaria after an asylum seekers' home failed to help a toddler who almost died of meningitis. The case has raised concerns about the treatment of refugees in the state. READ () »

Bayern and Dortmund to face off for German Cup
Kaiserslautern fans let off flares in the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night. Photo: DPA

Bayern and Dortmund to face off for German Cup

Holders Bayern Munich will face Borussia Dortmund in next month's German Cup final after cruising to a 5-1 win over second-division Kaiserslautern in Wednesday's semi-final. READ () »

Zalando hits back after undercover report
Working conditions at online retailer Zalando are under the spotlight. Photo: DPA

Zalando hits back after undercover report

Online fashion retailer Zalando has prompted an investigation by state prosecutors in Erfurt against an undercover journalist who revealed alleged "trade secrets" in a TV report on Monday night. READ () »

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Ingolf Deubel in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track. READ () »

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
A Bavarian worker works hard Photo: DPA

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”. READ () »

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
Advertisement:
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,133
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd