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Huawei’s Claims That It Makes Cities Safer Mostly Look Like Hype

Nov. 12, 2019, 9:00 PM

Islamabad’s Emergency Command Center, located in a blast-resistant building on a highway outside Pakistan’s capital, has a video wall with 72 screens for 1,950 surveillance cameras. Completed in 2016 at a cost of about $100 million, it’s the nexus for one of Huawei Technologies Co.’s global network of Safe City projects.

Yet murders, kidnappings, and burglaries in Islamabad all rose in 2018 from the previous year, and total crime was up 33%, according to data from Pakistan’s National Police Bureau. That may have something to do with half the cameras being out of order, according to a legislative...

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