UK Big Brother Watch: Hikvision Is 'Morally Bankrupt'

By: John Honovich and Charles Rollet, Published on Nov 13, 2019

UK civil liberties advocate Big Brother Watch has condemned Hikvision as being 'morally bankrupt' following IPVM exposing Hikvision marketing Uyghur ethnicity analytics targeted at the persecuted minority.

This creates new challenges for Hikvision in the company's strongest Western market.

"Morally Bankrupt"

Big Brother Watch said this in recent tweets:

Big Brother Watch Overview

Big Brother Watch is one of the UK's main privacy rights organizations (others include Privacy International and Liberty.)

Notably, Big Brother Watch is the chief force behind a campaign to stop UK police from using facial recognition, and are also fighting against private use of the technology.

UK Strongest Western Market for Hikvision

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

The UK is Hikvision's strongest Western market, where, by all accounts, Hikvision is not only the #1 video surveillance provider but also enjoys loyal public support amongst UK installers.

For example, Hikvision is so well regarded by UK installers that just weeks ago, a Hikvision UK partner quipped that they were 'partners in crime' with Hikvision:

Certainly, that installer is committing no 'crime' but it shows the support Hikvision enjoys that their partner would say this while Hikvision faces ongoing ethical and moral criticism, including the US October sanctions for Hikvision human rights abuses.

Backed By UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Not just UK installers but the highest-ranking UK government surveillance official has backed Hikvision.

The UK's Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter participated in a Hikvision marketing event at IFSEC in London this June 2019, sitting side by side by senior Hikvision officials:

The Commissioner demonstrated little understanding of Hikvision's background and human rights issues when we interviewed him during IFSEC 2019. 5 months later, after the Big Brother Watch statement, his office tells IPVM that the "Commissioner is not available to provide a comment on this". If or when he is and he does comment, we will add it in.

Financially Very Strong

Not only does Hikvision have strong UK backing, whatever one thinks about their 'moral bankruptcy', Hikvision is financially very strong. Hikvision reported over $7 billion in revenue and over $1.6 billion in profits for 2018.

The numbers are astonishing for video surveillance. Hikvision reports more profits than Axis, the largest Western manufacturer, has revenue. Indeed, Hikvision makes as much money in China in a week than they make in the UK in a year.

This is a company, morals aside, that has little financial need for the criticisms of people in the UK or US.

Building Criticisms Even In The UK

Nonetheless, criticism is building in the UK. Earlier in the year, various MPs criticized Hikvision, most notably this speech by UK MP Karen Lee:

With the revelation of Hikvision's Uyghur analytics and how this has galvanized civil liberty watchers, including Big Brother UK, Hikvision may face more pushback on both sides of the Atlantic.

Vote / Poll

1 report cite this report:

The 2020 Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Dec 20, 2019
The 300-page, 2020 Video Surveillance Industry Guide covers the key events...

Comments (7)

Only IPVM Members may comment. Login or Join.

Of course it is! However, since some are voting no I would love to hear their argument.

How can you run out of something you never had?

Supporting their employer?

My argument is simple, I accidently clicked no instead of yes and realised afterwards there is no way to change\revote!

Why yes, yes they are but.....given some of the current "leaders" of several countries which I won't name, I'd say its becoming the new acceptable global norm. So is Hik (China) REALLY doing anything wrong? We (as in all countries) should make sure we're not electing leaders with similar bankruptcies before we start pointing our fingers.

"So is Hik (China) REALLY doing anything wrong?"

this question is laughable. the answer is, without question, YES.

"We (as in all countries) should make sure we're not electing leaders with similar bankruptcies before we start pointing our fingers."

non sequitur - as described at logicallyfallacious.com

Related Reports

White House Trade Advisor Calls Hikvision "Very Evil Company" on Jun 24, 2020
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro has called Hikvision a "very evil...
Hikvision Illicitly Uses Back To The Future In Marketing on Jul 03, 2020
NBCUniversal told IPVM that Hikvision UK's ongoing coronavirus marketing...
UK Government Says Fever Cameras "Unsuitable" on Jul 01, 2020
The UK government's medical device regulator, MHRA, told IPVM that...
Hikvision Chairman Targeted For Sanctions As Federal Watchdog Calls Out Hikvision "Serious Religious Freedom Violations" on May 21, 2020
The US government's religious freedom watchdog has criticized Hikvision for...
US Passes Uyghur Human Rights Law Condemning Mass Surveillance on Jun 18, 2020
The US government has passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020,...
NetPosa's Terrible Situation Worsens on May 19, 2020
NetPosa is fighting for its existence as the situation worsens for what was...
Convergint Outlook Turns Negative on Apr 16, 2020
Convergint's outlook has turned negative, according to bond rater Moody's,...
Amazon, Microsoft and IBM Abandoning Face Recognition Is An "Irresponsible PR Stunt" Says AnyVision on Jul 17, 2020
In the wake of national protests against US police abuses, big tech firms...
Hikvision USA Refuses [Now In], Dahua USA Drives Forward With "Coronavirus Cameras" on Apr 07, 2020
Both have been federally banned, both sanctioned for human rights abuses but...
Verkada: "IPVM Should Never Be Your Source of News" on Jul 02, 2020
Verkada was unhappy with IPVM's recent coverage declaring that reading IPVM...
Dahua Revenue Plunges, 3 Execs Resign Q1 2020 on Apr 29, 2020
Dahua's sales dropped by 19.47% in the first quarter of 2020 amid the...
UK Firm Markets False Fever Screening, Hikvision Disavows on Jun 30, 2020
A UK security firm falsely claimed its Hikvision-based thermal solution could...
No Blackbody Mistake, Half Million Dollar, Hikvision Fever Camera System in Georgia on Sep 16, 2020
A Georgia school district touted buying Hikvision fever screening "about...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Aug 13, 2020
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video...
Hikvision Global Revenue Falls, Hit By Coronavirus on Apr 27, 2020
Hikvision's global revenue fell in the first quarter of 2020 due to the...

Recent Reports

Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...
Chilean Official Investigated for Motorola And Hikvision Contracts on Sep 17, 2020
A corruption investigation is underway in Chile after a crime prevention...
Huawei HiSilicon Production Shut Down on Sep 17, 2020
Huawei HiSilicon chips are no longer being manufactured or supplied to...
Virtual ISC West and GSX+ Exhibiting Contrasted on Sep 17, 2020
Both ISC West and ASIS GSX are going virtual this year, just weeks apart, but...
X.Labs Sues FLIR on Sep 16, 2020
X.Labs, the maker of Feevr, has sued FLIR, the publicly traded thermal...
Video Surveillance 101 September Course - Last Chance on Sep 16, 2020
Today is the last chance to sign up for the Fall Video Surveillance 101...
No Blackbody Mistake, Half Million Dollar, Hikvision Fever Camera System in Georgia on Sep 16, 2020
A Georgia school district touted buying Hikvision fever screening "about...
Costar Technologies / Arecont H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 16, 2020
Costar's financial results have been hit by the coronavirus with the company...
Startup Cawamo Presents Live Alerts With Edge AI and Cloud VMS on Sep 15, 2020
Cawamo, an Israeli edge-to-cloud analytics and VMS startup, presented its...
Favorite Access Control Credentials 2020 on Sep 15, 2020
Credential choice is more debated than ever, with hacking risk for 125kHz and...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Screening Marketing In Africa on Sep 15, 2020
A multi-national African Hikvision distributor is marketing dangerously...
New Products Show Fall 2020 Announced - Register Now on Sep 14, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show will feature New Products from over 25...
Hanwha 8K / 33MP Camera Tested on Sep 14, 2020
Hanwha Techwin has released an 8K / 33MP resolution camera, the TNB-9000 with...