Hikvision was barred by the Commerce Department in 2019 over its involvement in the Chinese government’s suppression of the Uyghurs — an ethnic minority population in the Xinjiang province located in northwest China.
Boxer, who registered with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act Friday, was expected to serve as a “Strategic consultant,” on behalf of the surveillance company for Mercury Public Affairs, a prominent lobbying firm where Boxer was recently named co-chair, the Daily Caller first reported.
While it is not unusual for former politicians to enter the lobbying world and register as foreign agents when working with another government, President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration committee threw a flag on Boxer consulting with Hikvison — whose largest stakeholder is the Chinese government.
First reported by Axios, the committee said it would be returning Boxer’s inauguration donation of $500 to the former senator following her decision to work in coordination with the massive tech company.
Boxer told the online publication that the decision was an “opportunity” to “help a company operate in a more responsible and humane manner consistent with U.S. law in spirit and letter.”
But she seemed to reverse her decision by Tuesday afternoon, announcing in a tweet that she “deregistered.”
“Due to the intense response to my registration I have determined that my continued work has become a negative distraction from my effort to preserve American jobs and make the company better,” Boxer wrote. “Therefore I have deregistered.”
Hikvison is reportedly the world’s leading surveillance equipment supplier and signed a $272 million contract with Xinjiang police between 2016-2017, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
China’s campaign against the Uyghurs is thought to have started as early as 2013, when the government started using malware to track Uyghur populations.
The People’s Republic of China has since been accused of erecting mass internment camps that hold an estimated 1 million or more Uyghurs and taking other measures against the Xinjiang population with the assistance of technology companies like Hikvision.
Boxer served as a senator from 1993 until her retirement in 2017. She was replaced by then-Sen. Kamala Harris.
Boxer will still serve as co-chair for the lobbying group, which described her as a “trailblazer for women, a progressive crusader, and a consensus builder across party lines” in a January announcement.
Fox News could not immediately reach Biden’s transition team or Boxer for this report.
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