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If You Are Not Using Hikvision, Are You A "Door Closer"?

Don't get me wrong, there are alot trunk slammers who use Hikvision. But just because you use Hikvision doesn't at all make you a trunk slammer. A large majority of integrators in the USA have and still do install Hikvision so if you say yes then you are saying the large majority of integrators are trunk slammers.

The real question should be: "If you are not using Hikvision, are you a "door closer"? Meaning have you closed your doors to your business because you could not compete with your competition who is using Hikvision?

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: So, If I Sell Hikvision Am I A Trunk Slammer?

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Sean, in all seriousness, you need to be a Hikvision motivational speaker! That is a good counter.

you could not compete with your competition who is using Hikvision?

But what does Hikvision really offer? There's nearly nothing that Hikvision does that is functionality or technically unique or innovative. You win with Hikvision offering the something similar to Axis, Hanwha, Avigilon at less price, correct? I am seriously curious about your answer.

And, btw, I am not discounting the power of much lower cost, Hikvision certainly understands that and sells on that heavily.

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Yes, pricing is powerful. The way most people look at it is that Hikvision is just as good, if not better, at a much lower price point. Why would I buy Brand X that is made in Canada or Europe or whatever for $900 when I can buy an equivalent for $150?

Before we get to all of the "China has unfair trade practices" jargon and any other nonsensical hooplah. Note this:

-Hikvision is one of the highest priced offerings in China. If one really ONLY cared about price, they could easily pick many of the smaller manufacturers in China. People buy Hik because its inexpensive and reliable and sometimes better than higher priced non-chinese stuff.

- We live in a global economy, and we are all humans created under one God. Buying from China doesnt bother me. If it does bother you, no problem, feel free to buy more expensive gear from other countries, if you can sell it and it makes you and your customer happy, then great! BTW, i guarantee you most of the components in your other manufacturers cameras were made in China.

- Just like many different states, and cities here in the USA offer better tax treatment and beneficial motivators to businesses to get them to do business in their areas, many countries offer better business motivators as well. China for example. China has decided to subsidize many of their industries creating what some call an "unfair advantage". I agree that Hikvision has a giant advantage over many other manufacturers due to their large subsidies and low labor rates. But to call it unfair is a little out there. If we as a country really wanted to make headway into a manufacturing industry such as CCTV, then we should also consider offering similar subsidies, tax treatments or whatever in order for us to compete in a global economy. Until this happens, we will continue to only create software here and continue to manufacturer the electronics hardware over in China. Am I Right about this or nay? Is the computer or cell phone you are typing you are getting ready to type your reply on Made in the USA or Made in China. Case Closed.. JK

- I am not of the theory that Hikvision is creating Cyber Warheads. But to those who are. I have this question. Some of you have stated that you used to install Hikvision products before you started reading IPVM and got brainwashed into thinking that they are creating cyber warheads. But to those previous installs, what are you doing about them? Are your beliefs strong enough that you have replaced all of those HIkvision cameras with a so-called more secure expensive alternative? Or are you perfectly content with letting a ticking Cyber-Bomb reside on your customers system? Are you doing this at your own cost. I thoroughly look forward to your reply.

 

 

 

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1/2 responses: on your political point.

We live in a global economy, and we are all humans created under one God.

China disagrees; Not in the PRC:

China is an officially atheist state, which has promoted atheism throughout the country

The point here is not simply about religion but about worldviews. China rejects the Western worldview of freedom, fairness, and ethics. As Bloomberg reported this week - China’s Master Plan: Spreading a model of authoritarian mercantilism

Now, what you want is for other countries to match that, as you contend:

we should also consider offering similar subsidies, tax treatments or whatever in order for us to compete in a global economy.

That only further breaks down the system of fair trade and free markets that the West has tried to foster for decades.

For you, as someone making money off this system, it is a convenient excuse that every country should subsidize the products you sell but it is neither realistic not good for the greater world.

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The point here is not simply about religion but about worldviews. China rejects the Western worldview of freedom, fairness, and ethics. As Bloomberg reported this week - China’s Master Plan: Spreading a model of authoritarian mercantilism.

Im a little confused by this counter argument but I will try my best to take it on anyways. We all know that you have a strong disdain for Chinese Politics and Government. I also wish the Chinese people the same freedom that we have. Nonetheless, despite all of our differences in religion and points of views, lets not all forget that China is an ally country. Despite what some people believe, China doesnt want to do us harm. Objectively speaking, why would they? We are their biggest customer?!?!?! We drive their economy. Some people have asked "Would you buy a camera if it was made in Iran, or North Korea?" My answer would be no, because I dont want to support a regime that has made provocative statements to the effect they are going to blow us to smitherines. China, while perhaps have flexed their muscles occassionally (just like every super power does) has never wished great harm upon the USA. Therefore the notion that they will use Hikvision devices to initiate cyber warfare on us is bananas in my opinion.

For you, as someone making money off this system,

You know I will always counter to this that your whole business plan revolves around creating hype around China and Hik Scandals, thus your paid advertised facebook ads pointing to your not-free-for-viewing articles. Respectfully, you are the lead engineer of the Hikvision money train.

it is a convenient excuse that every country should subsidize the products you sell but it is neither realistic not good for the greater world.

Well i dunno what to say to that other than if we dont compete on their level then they will continue to dominate the manufacturing sector which I think you have to agree. You can moan and groan all you want, but I guarantee you will continue to buy Chinese made products on a weekly basis. Surely, we can figure out something to spur interest in manufacturing. Temporary Tax Treatment would probably be helpful.

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lets not all forget that China is an ally country

That is at the crux of our disagreement. The USA and PRC have fundamentally antithetical visions of the world and morality. Just because countries trade does not make them allies. Why do you think the FBI and NSA and House of Representatives raise such concerns about Chinese government controlled companies? Because they think the PRC is our ally? The opposite.

I do encourage you to fully read China’s Master Plan: Spreading a model of authoritarian mercantilism.

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That is at the crux of our disagreement

While I strongly disagree with you, I guess I can respect your opion more if you truely think China is an enemy state to the USA. 

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Sean, disagree or not, recognition/perception of the PRC as an enemy to the USA is increasing. You should, at least from a tactical standpoint, consider that for your future business plans.

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Hikvision is one of the highest priced offerings in China. If one really ONLY cared about price, they could easily pick many of the smaller manufacturers in China.

Not easily, no way and you know it.

Hikvision is high priced "for Chinese" significantly because they staff people and products locally, in the US, in the EU, etc.

Even "trunkslammers" are rarely going to try to save money by buying something that has to be shipped directly from China and requires contacting someone in China for any type of support. Logistically that adds a lot of cost and inconvenience for any installer/integrator that they overwhelmingly want to avoid.

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Sorry I was referring to a distributor point of view. Distributors are hammered each day via email campaigns by cheaper alternatives. Much cheaper. 

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Is the computer or cell phone you are typing you are getting ready to type your reply on Made in the USA or Made in China. Case Closed.. JK

You keep missing the point that Hikvision is government owned.  This is not a made in the USA vs made in China argument. 

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Mike, there are alot of companies in China that are partially owned by the government. Regardless, anytime you buy anything in China, you are supporting the Chinese government. Im sorry, but I always thought this argument was very weak.

You used to install Hikvision cameras. What have you decided to do with all of those Hikvision cameras you installed in the past?

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Sean, we have 3 Hikvision NVRS and around 50 Hikvision cameras deployed.  The 3 NVRS are small systems which we spoke with the customer after we learned about the Government ownership, made some network changes and the customer decided to keep the system.

Our large customers (one of which got hacked via Hikvision) is no longer using Hikivsion and will be removing them from the networks. 

 

I posted this in another thread but I will ask you too.  Would you install this USB Fan in your computer? 

 

I also find this quote very timely:

But cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward, from Surrey University, said: "For years now, engineering people to plug in a USB stick you supplied has been a classic way of circumventing security measures to get your software on their machine.

 

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Hey Sean, just figured I’d take the bait (as one of those former Hik dealers) and throw my two cents in here.

First to clarify: a device with cyber security vulnerabilities/hard codes backdoors/exploits/etc, yeah can be a “weapon” but realisticly it is more of a “bug” or spy device. Most of us, maybe not all, know China is not going to blow us up and kill everyone with “cyber warheads” (another term I believe you may have coined lol). However it is very realistic to assume China itself or bad actors/black hats/corporate espionage types will attempt to use vulnerable points of entry (like criminals due into properties... most don’t try to “crack the vault” like in the movies but prefer that weak/improperly installed door, open window, doggy door, etc same in cyber security). So what might these bad actors (Chinese and other nationalities as well) try to do with insecure devices? Mine Bitcoin (or more likely Monero)? Not a “warhead” but certainly bad since that overworking of the poor little camera is going to burn it out prematurely which will cost the end-user money ie damages. Hack into an otherwise secure network? Hey happens all the time, I have a buddy who used to drive around with an antenna and an empty pringle can to hack (white hat style) into networks and them use that as a selling point for his IT services (hey I got in through that D-Link router installed by your manager in his office, might want to pay me to secure it so someone else doesn’t do the same). Ok so what someone hacked in through a camera, recorder, router, smart coffee maker, whatever? Well sure unless you are the Navy (sound familiar?) or a major corporation with trade secrets, etc. There are plenty of other bad things hackers can do, but I think I have made my point and then some?

Second, to your questions:

IPVM did not brainwash me into thinking the Chinese government and Hikvision are evil. Just shed light on the truth of the connection and I decided to purchase from different Chinese companies aka Hikhua/Dahik (though i am looking for a non Chinese yet still value line... Hanwha or Dynacolor maybe idk?).

Yes I did inform my clients who took their cyber security seriously after discovering the truth. They opted to leave the systems in place and apply mac address filters and other security measures. However when they wanted to expand the system they opted for Dahua instead (even after I shared about the backdoors and other hacks). They feel their security measures are sufficient to protect them, so they feel safe in taking a chance on a Chinese company but can’t in good conscience buy directly from a PRC owned and controlled company.

As for how we did the break down of cost with the client, we paid out of pocket to replace the nvr, they paid for all the new work. The existing Hik cams are still in place, but have no direct access to the web.

On a side note, I do some sub work for some huge integration companies who won’t touch Dahik/Hikhua or anything other than Avigilon/Axis/etc and they make  millions selling cameras that sometimes cost as much as an entire 8 channel system. Different strokes for different folks I guess? I guess it is all about perceived value. Some clients value budget items (Kias/Hyundais/Hikvision/etc) and others care about brands, features and security (Bentley/Tesla/Axis/etc).

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Hikvision cameras frequently equal or outperform "western" offerings at a fraction of the cost. Why wouldn't anyone want to spend less money for the same or a better result? (EDIT: geopolitical issues notwithstanding)

As for "technically unique and innovative" I got one word for you: ColorVu.

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There's nearly nothing that Hikvision does that is functionality or technically unique or innovative.

I have to disagree with this. For starters, I dont think Hikvision is a "copier" Chinese company. I know there are many Chinese companies that just copy, but Hik isnt one of them. They innovate. Lets take a premium brand like Axis for example. Good company by the way, but just dont hold a match to Hik on Embedded NVR's. And simple things such as including infrared sensors on cameras, sounds silly but the Chinese were doing this in droves way before the premium manufacturers did. Built In POE NVR's and P2P servers is another thing China led the way in. 

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"I dont think Hikvision is a "copier" Chinese company."

Chinese companies are ALL copier companies.

Name one global innovation that was ever brought to market FIRST by any Chinese company.

I won't be holding my breath waiting for any answer - cuz there aint one.

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Name one global innovation that was ever brought to market FIRST by any Chinese company.

ever in italics, eh?

Gunpowder was a pretty big deal, back in the day.

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Just throwing this out there: odds are way back when, whoever invented gunpowder did not own/work for a “chinese company” :P

No claim was made that Chinese people don’t innovate, just Chinese companies. Not that I agree, just playing Devil’s Advocate and trolling/debating semantics.

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...whoever invented gunpowder did not own/work for a “chinese company” 

I think the guy might have been working for the Sung Dynasty, a State-Owned-Enterprise :)

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Which is to say, they (might have - have seen no evidence of gunpowder being government project) worked for Taiwan?
That being the actual democratic government descended from the pre-Communist-revolution, non-Maoist China.
;)

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If you are not using Hikvision, are you a "door closer"? Meaning have you closed your doors to your business because you could not compete with your competition who is using Hikvision?

translation:

The only way to compete against Hik is to sell Hik... 

amiright Sean?

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I almost work exclusively in the government market. There is no way in good conscience that I could sell HIKvision to my customers.

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As a Hik dealer/installer, I agree. If I ever got a government contract (or any sort of "sensitive" client, e.g. healthcare) I would not install Hik. Would likely turn to Axis or Avigilon.

However that sort of opportunity rarely presents itself for the majority of smaller installers. Our verticals are considerably different and Hik makes sense to sell to them because their needs are considerably different. We're not deploying servers running Milestone, we install boxed NVRs. We use (comparatively) basic analytics, maybe some push notifications set on schedules, and most of the client's work with the system is done on their smartphone via the app. They don't employ security managers, hell most of them are lucky to have a staff of ten.

Not to dump on you UI#3 but it seems the majority of people that rip on Hik are in your sort of position and see the world through rose-colored glasses because of that privilege. You can afford to not sell Hik to your clients. We can't. Call it class struggle.

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I wonder if 'free range' trunk slammers cost more?

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Back to Sean's original question... Yes. I do not use, nor have I ever used products from a company I do not trust in deployments for my customers. If I open a door and the customer asks me about HIK (or other untrustworthy manufacturers), I simply reply: "I am not the company they want to hire if that is what they are looking to install." I tell them that there are plenty of other integrators who "paid their admission to the race to the bottom", fortunately I'm not one of them. 

A business mentor of mine once told me: "Avoid the seduction of 'YES' and learn that success is more often attributed to the opportunities that you say 'NO' to". If I know all the customer is looking for is "good enough" or "the same, but cheaper" then they are not a future customer of mine. Door closed...gladly.

 

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We just re-published an updated door closers (for access control) tutorial, so I stumbled upon this discussion. Lots changed in 3 years....

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As I saw on the discussion are many US based ideas (and views), in my country (Ecuador) Hik almost dominates the market, since we are very price-councious almost everybody only buys cheap Hik CCTV, access and intercoms - it looks as if anybody only knows Hikvision and there is not any other manufacturer in the industry. I personally prefer not to install Hik (and also think there is not too much money to make on deploying those systems) but on very few cases have not had any option or loose the deal, we even had once to install Avigilon with a few Hik cameras

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Does the government there consider Hik to be a national security threat?

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The truth no, they do not, all they care is cost - also they do not mind swapping and rebuilding every few years…

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