The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) in Germany has urged German company Bosch to stop its sale of prison equipment that assists the Chinese Communist Party in its objectives of suppressing dissent. Bosch is a ‘recommended exhibitor’ at the ‘Security China 2012’ fair in Beijing (December 3-6). The trade fair is supported by the Chinese Ministry for Public Security and is to “improve all levels of safety and security within China”.[1]

Bosch sells surveillance and safety systems on the Chinese market and explicitly offers them to state institutions. The systems called “AutoTrack” or “AutoDome” are integrated systems that offer “huge benefits” to the user due to their software based surveillance and locking technology, says the company on its website. Bosch particularly targets prisons as potential customers in China.[2]

“The People’s Republic of China is under authoritarian rule without free and fair elections and an independent judicial system. Fundamental human rights are systematically violated. It is utterly unacceptable that Bosch aims to make profits from supporting the smooth running of a system of repression in the PRC. While Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo is detained in a Chinese prison, while Tibetans burn themselves out of protest against repression and while the German government laments ‘draconian punishments against dissidents and human rights defenders’, it is shameful to conduct such business activities with the Chinese Communist Party authorities”, said ICT-Executive Director Kai Müller.

In a letter to the executive chairman of Bosch, the International Campaign for Tibet has urged the company to stop the sale of prison equipment in China and to state how many prisons in the PRC are already equipped with Bosch technology and which prisons are using it. ICT also wants to know whether Bosch technology is used in prisons in Tibet where since 2008 a large number of detentions have taken place, in response to the widespread protests. ICT has reminded Bosch of its self-declared “principles of social responsibility”.

At a time of wrenching change in China as well as Tibet, and in order to assert the Party’s dominance and control at the time of a leadership transition, the Beijing authorities have stepped up their attempts to crush dissent against one-Party rule and expand their attack on civil society. This is the process that Bosch is supporting through its trade in surveillance in prisons. This has led to a dramatic and costly expansion of the powers of China’s military and policing personnel that is increasingly regarded by progressive Chinese and the international community as a flawed tool of Chinese Communist Party control.

Bosch presents prison equipment on its Chinese language internet page[3] which shows the products in several videos.[4] According to the website, Bosch explicitly targets government authorities in China as potential customers. According to the catalogue of the security exhibition and trade fair this week in Beijing, around a quarter of its visitors are members of the security or judiciary state authorities in China(2010)[5].

The International Campaign for Tibet is deeply concerned about the business activities of German companies in the PRC. The organization just recently criticised German automaker Daimler for its support for a party propaganda event in Beijing. In 2008, ICT urged Volkswagen to withdraw from the sponsoring of the Olympic torch relay through Tibet. “More often now, German companies in China are seen to be complicit with the Beijing regime, which is extremely damaging for the Chinese people. Businesses such as Bosch are obliged to respect human rights principles. If Bosch equips Chinese prisons with their products, the company is co-responsible for human rights violations in China”, ICT said.

[1] See Internetpage “Security China 2012”,,
accessed on 4.12.2012;

[2] See Internetpage “Security China 2012”,,
accessed on 4.12.2012;

[3] See Bosch-Internetpage,…,
accessed on4.12.2012;

[4] The videos can be accessed here:;;;;
(accessed on4.12.2012);

[5] See Internetpage “Security China 2012”,, download,
accessed on 4.12.2012.