Filming Norwegian folk sports with cameras blacklisted by Ukraine

Filming Norwegian folk sports with cameras blacklisted by Ukraine
Wall camera: MyGame’s Harald Strømme posed with a Hikvison camera during a presentation at Ullevaal Stadium in April last year.

The company that supplied the cameras to MyGame and Norwegian sports is on the same boycott list as owner Freia Mondelez.


The Ukrainian authorities have prepared a list of companies that are allegedly contributing to the Russian war machine in the country.

And it caused a storm around Norwegian chocolate producer Freya last week.

But Chinese camera company Hikvision is also on the list.

According to Ukrainian authorities, the company also contributes to Russia’s war economy:

Hikvision provides Russia with important goods that enable the Russian military industry to function and the war to continue. [ …] Hikvision’s income in Russia increased by 42 percent with the start of the total war in 2022. Net profit increased by 1,526 percent. The number of employees in the company has doubled. It is called in Ukrainian interrupt list.

Hikvision has also supplied several cameras installed in Norwegian gyms as part of its Mygame live streaming service.

Big deal with sports

Several private Norwegian leagues have entered into cooperation with Mygame on popular sports broadcasting. The Norwegian Football Association was previously closely associated with MyGame, but confirmed on Friday evening that they have an agreement with Spiideo, and do not use Chinese cameras.

Presentation: Harald Strømme at MyGame, NFF President Lise Klaveness, TV2 Director Olav Sandnes and Anders Opdahl at Amedia at Ullevaal Stadium presenting TV’s new investment in popular football.

Broadcasting for under 18s has been suspended following several critical incidents in the media. The Norwegian Sports Confederation has set up a committee which is currently working on the questions.

Parliamentary politician Grund Almeland (V) has been highly critical of Chinese camera companies Hikvision and Dahua. The background was the link to alleged abuses against the Uighurs in China

– We now know that the company also operates in Russia, contributing to Russia’s war economy, and thus contributing to Russia’s ability to sustain its war, he says.

Left-wing politician Grund Almeland (behind) asked Emily Inger Mehl questions on the matter.

Earlier this year, the Secretary of Justice and Emergency Services asked if we had a national overview of the use of surveillance technology from Hikvision and Dahua in public buildings and public spaces, which she did not have. Now that I know the company is also on Ukraine’s sponsors of war list, I don’t think the need to know this has diminished any further, Almeland adds.

to reject

VG confronted Hikvision with the fact that the company is included in the boycott list of Ukraine. In a statement from a company spokesperson, quoted by a Norwegian consulting firm, it was confirmed that all Hikvision products are manufactured for civilian use.

“Hikvision strongly condemns any possible unauthorized use of our equipment. The company has never sold equipment to the Russian military.”As stated in the statement.

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VG has previously discussed how the company relates to human rights abuses in China. The company is banned from public buildings in England and is on sanction lists in both the United States and India.

MyGame director Lars Setsa says today that the company has decided it will no longer use Hikvision as a camera supplier.

“We made this decision earlier this spring in connection with a review of our technical and editorial procedures. Hikvision is the most widely used security camera in Norway, and is used in a number of public buildings across the country, but we want the public to feel it is safe to follow our broadcasts. Then we rely on viewers to trust the technology we use.”Setaa writes in an email to VG.

He adds that Hikvision cameras installed in Norwegian gyms will eventually be phased out.

More people drop their cameras

Norway’s largest bank, DNB, has stopped using cameras from China’s Hikvision in its own operations after a security assessment – and put Hikvision on a blacklist of companies DNB does not invest in.

Avarn Security – formerly NOKAS – conducted a separate investigation of Hikvision two years ago. This resulted in the company stopping all sales of cameras from the Chinese factory to new customers.

Hikvision cameras are still used in Thon hotels across the country. But CEO Morten Thorvaldsen told VG that the company stopped buying new cameras from the Chinese manufacturer two and a half years ago.

Thus, Hikvision is also in the process of phasing out Thon.

At the same time, the Oslo municipality has launched a legal investigation into its opportunities to dismantle broadcast cameras that have been installed in public gyms in the capital – without the municipality’s approval.


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Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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