China’s Olympic-Sized Security Investment

A $6.5 billion effort ensured athletes and visitors enjoyed a safe environment in Beijing

The slogan for last month’s Beijing Olympic Games, “One World, One Dream” reflected more than the participating athlete’s aspirations. It was also China’s dream to welcome the world on a major scale for the first time since “opening up” under Deng Xiaoping. Also known in China as the “Green Olympics,” and the “High-tech Olympics,” the Games showcased China’s high-tech achievements and innovative ability in many fields, including electronic security.
The Security Industry Association’s (SIA) China Security Market Report, Olympic Update revealed that the Chinese began developing the security strategy for the 2008 Games in 2004 as part of a larger government security initiative called the Grand Beijing Safeguard Sphere. This initiative invested $6.5 billion on high-tech security at all key government and private organizations, residential communities, public spaces and traffic hubs in and around Beijing. All of those venues are now a network of sophisticated digital video surveillance systems monitored by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.
In addition to spending billions of dollars on security for the Grand Beijing Safeguard Sphere, the Chinese spent an additional $300 million (U.S) on security specifically for the Olympic Village and competition venues on electronic physical security, personnel and IT security. Of that, $116 million was spent on electronic physical security systems, equipment and service including:

• Video surveillance ($28.5 million)
• Electronic article surveillance ($25.9 M)
• Electronic ticketing ($23.3 M)
• Access control ($5.3 M)
• Intrusion alarms ($3.6 M)
• Equipment installation/service ($29.4 M)
• Physical/IT Security personnel ($184 M)

Factoring in security spending for the Grand Beijing Safeguard Sphere, the Chinese spent far more on security for the 2008 Games than any other country had for earlier Games. Security spending for recent Olympic Games include:

• 1996 Atlanta Games — $227 million
• 2000 Sydney Games — $224 million.
• 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City — $300 million
• 2004 Athens Olympic Games — $1.5 billion

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