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And while Hikvision tells customers Skynet is an anti-crime initiative, government policy documents declare that its primary aim is to prevent public protests and 'find and control hostile forces' threatening China's repressive one-party state.
A government document on Skynet issued in 2005 stated that its main aim was not to prevent normal crime but to maintain 'social stability…
In a suite of showrooms, we were shown surveillance cameras capable of seeing through fog and dark, and systems that can read vehicle number plates.
The systems' advanced technology can also give accurate estimates of a target's age, sex and height.
Despite claiming on its website to be 'an independent and publicly traded corporation', Hikvision is in fact owned by the Chinese Electronic Technology Corporation, a government body tasked with developing electronic systems for military and civilian use, including developing software to collate data on the jobs, hobbies, consumption habits and other behaviour of citizens to identify 'terrorists'.
Weeks before our visit, Hangzhou hosted the G20 summit and tens of thousands of additional Hikvision surveillance cameras were put in place on key road junctions and buildings.
We do not use the database ourselves, so people's privacy is protected.