China: Foreign Video Surveillance Is Security Risk

Author: John Honovich, Published on May 25, 2018

The Chinese government has long acknowledged that foreign video surveillance is a 'risk to national security' and has increasingly and almost exclusively bought their own video surveillance products for their governmental use, the largest market segment in the world.

China Daily, a China state-owned publication confirmed this in 2012:

Now, the US government is recognizing similar security risks in the recent House bill passed to ban Dahua and Hikvision from government use.

Indeed, over the past 5 years, Western video surveillance manufacturers (even companies like Axis, Avigilon, Genetec and Milestone that do extensive R&D and have leading global products) have been effectively blocked out. For example, Hikvision's revenue inside China is ~1,000x greater than Axis (Hikvision ~$5 billion, Axis ~$50 million) with Axis and other leading Western companies generally constrained to smaller private projects or Western companies with operations inside of China.

Security Risks?

We anticipate that Hikvision and their owner the Chinese government will start a marketing campaign denying that their equipment is a security risk to the US and other foreign governments. However, if the West is to believe them, why then does China think that foreign security equipment is a security risk to their own country?

Update: Hikvision has, as expected, denied being a security risk, in their newest 'Special Bulletin':

US Government Takes Similar Action

In August 2018, the US government banned the use of Chinese video surveillance manufacturers Dahua and Hikvision for similar security risk issues.

4 reports cite this report:

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Trump Administration Considers Sanctions Against Dahua and Hikvision on Sep 11, 2018
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Hikvision Admits Ban To Become Law on Aug 03, 2018
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