Dahua Fakes Being American

Author: John Honovich, Published on Aug 10, 2016

Robbed from the Hikvision playbook, now Dahua takes it turn.

Dahua, China's second largest manufacturer, is ramping up its marketing.

Dahua announced a new ad campaign calling themselves a 'California treasure' comparable to the California Gold Rush:

Who Is Dahua Technology?

Dahua Technology USA is the regional sales / support office (with ~50 employees) for the Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co., Ltd. (with ~10,000 employees).

China is the foundation of Dahua's business, its R&D, its manufacturing, etc. Dahua USA's regional office, with ~0.5% of Zheijiang Dahua's employees, is based in Southern California.

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Comments (60)

rewrite:

"In 2016 Dahua discovered Fool's Gold........."

Marketing is always exciting. Don't say I didn't told. :D

Of all the California historical milestones to embrace, why in the world did Dahua pick the Gold Rush?

Grade-school history classes taught me that the Gold Rush and the subsequent western expansion wasn't exactly kind to Chinese immigrants.

This is not an analogy that works, for many reasons.

Isn't California the home of 'moving pictures'? Wouldn't that be more copacetic here?

Dahua goes Hollywood?

Of all the California historical milestones to embrace, why in the world did Dahua pick the Gold Rush?

btw, Sutters Mill was in Mexico at the time of the discovery. So maybe a "stolen Mexican treasure" is more historical.

Sutters Mill was in Mexico at the time of the discovery.

But only for a week. And neither the American nor Mexican governments were aware of the gold, which means the Treaty of Guapalupe Hidalgo was negotiated in good faith by both parties. The guy found gold on January 24th, the treaty ceding California to the US was signed February 2nd, and word of the discovery didn't start leaking till March.

Personally I voted "No" to the Treaty of Guapalupe Hidalgo (Prop Nuevo), but I've gotten over it...

In 2016, you'll discover another California Treasure, high-value security systems.

You'll discover it the same way, digging thru the dirt.

Robbed from the Hikvision playbook...

Hardly. She just brought it with her :)

I work for Dahua USA, and I am pretty sure I am also American. Just throwing that out there.

Edit: Also born and raised in California

JP, so that makes Dahua, the company, American?

Related, since Axis has Chinese born employees, are you ok with Axis marketing themselves as a Chinese treasure?

JP, Dahua is from Hangzhou. I've been in their offices many times in that filthy city. They are as Chinese as they come. They're just buying American land, America's middle class, using American names, and just buying America in general. Shameful.

They're just buying American land, America's middle class, using American names, and just buying America in general. Shameful.

Yes, but how do you propose we get our money back?

Vote with your money... Find the most local and most ethical products out there and support those. Even if it eventually gets back to China at least maybe you can give some Americans a job in the process. At the least it should be hard working Americans importing and selling Chinese goods in America... creating jobs for others.

I guess you could try politics but I find that rather worthless.

One american employee (born and raised) in California isn't how you Americanize a company.

Only someone as naive as Dahua would think such a small percentage of American workers would equate to an American company.

Do you get your logic from Donald Trump?

It's just advertising - seriously. What we should be more concerned about is not that they are claim jumpers on the provenance of California, it should really be the fact that we have come to accept that American Industry has so failed it's consumers that we have no options but to buy foreign made products.

Let's face it, they've out performed, produced, developed us in this market space. Until a viable (and I mean viable in that it better work for more than a week and not have a high DOA rate) alternative is presented, we're at the mercy of EA products (with no end-in-sight).

What I find slightly troubling is the fact that our Federal $$$ are being spent on purchasing product that are produced by a communist government. Yes - I said it. Most, if not all companies in China have a percentage ownership by the Communist Government. Would you buy a product that had open access to your network and can implant bots to scour open ports and insecure systems and report home? It's troubling that we buy these products and don't get a good look into the back-end of the product.

If I were an Average American consumer, I'd consider that point and think about the ramifications. If I were the Federal Government, I'd be "pooping bricks" knowing that I have no accessibility to their code base. I'm certain the CERT and SANS folks out there would LOVE to take a look at the code base on these cameras.

We see all these breaches in network security at major Federal Institutions and we attribute it to hackers. Really, we've literally given foreign governments direct access to security platforms. Even with "regulations and prohibitions on their use", some "yahoo" who wants to watch their inventory and puts up a cheap "pro-card" purchased product has most likely mounted one of these cameras to watch their DLA inventory as its being moved from base to base.

That concerns me more than devious marketing. I sincerely hope that we can step back from worrying about "advertising" and focus on the real security threat posed by Chinese manufactures. The real objective here should be to find home-grown products that meet or exceed these products, that are made here and transparently provide access to their back-end code to ensure they are "gold-level" and have ensure INFOSEC and COMSEC.

I know there is still American Ingenuity and Industry - it's out there. Show us the products that are quality and produced here and I will switch to purchasing from them (or trusted country partners).

Finally - we need to see the unfair trade and manufacturing practices of the Chinese Government curtailed and eliminated. No more "state-sponsored" funding of Chinese Manufacturers - deny them access to our market and this will stop - they will have to survive on their own - not on the basis of the RMB or influx of government investment. If you established a high tariff (80% or more on products know to be receiving substantial government investment), that will discourage that behavior.

Okay - off of my little rant horse....

My two-bits. You all have a very nice day...

Finally - we need to see the unfair trade and manufacturing practices of the Chinese Government curtailed and eliminated. No more "state-sponsored" funding of Chinese Manufacturers - deny them access to our market and this will stop - they will have to survive on their own - not on the basis of the RMB or influx of government investment...

The Chinese government needs to stop funding China!

No more "state-sponsored" funding of Chinese Manufacturers - deny them access to our market and this will stop

Give the Communist Party of China credit here. They know full well the West will not do that and they have played this to their maximum advantage.

Also, the "state sponsorship" began years before they had made any inroads into "our market".

I like your words, sir... very well-reasoned.

I loved the claim-jumper reference - +10 points

However - I can not concur with the alternative you used to support that claim:

"...it should really be the fact that we have come to accept that American Industry has so failed it's consumers that we have no options but to buy foreign made products."

While I do not disagree with the 'options' clause, I might argue that it is the American govt that has failed consumers - not manufacturers - by signing ridiculous trade agreements with foreign nations that allow (for example) the Chinese to do what they are doing in the surveillance industry... all nice and legitimate-like.

I can see by your previous words [specifically your final paragraph] that you clearly recognize this 'imbalance'.... I just think that the onus is on the entity that creates the playing field, not on the combatants on the field that they are required to play on.

Don't hate the playa's - hate the game. :)

Marty - you have a valid point. The onus does lie primarily with our ineffective trade agreements and policies foisted upon the American industry - putting us distinctly at a disadvantage. I would argue that this occurs not just at a US national level, but anywhere a country seeks to establish "parity" with less fortunate countries. We are such a well meaning and generous society that we often give away the farm regardless of the consequences. I believe, strongly, that any country we trade with MUST, to some degree, adhere to our notion of pay that is "family" oriented (in that you can save for the future) and that basic minimum "rights" are adhered to in working conditions. Additionally, if we are held to a standard for government intervention (which we are always at the tail-end of WTO findings - for the most part) - then our elected officials must ensure the executive is held accountable for its passivity. I don't believe I've seen a good Trade Agreement come out of the current administration, nor do I think that FTA or NAFTA helps us in large part to the "transfer" clauses. It makes no logical sense to me that we have a limit on the means to production artificially imposed on our industries. We should and must allow the market to regulate those activities. I'm not, however, opposed to tariffs and duties as a means to control entry to our marketplace. Play nice with me and I'll play nice with you - we can both exist in this sandbox. Don't defecate here and we'll be fine.

Thanks for your response. It's good to see thoughtful responses to something that needs serious discussion. The fear is that our industry is served by "schills" of the economic powerhouses in the industry. I'm certain that DAHUA, HIKVISION, LINLIN and others have ASIS in their pockets. Additionally, our industry is so small in comparison to other verticals that we barely merit any consideration overall.

Well - on that cheery note ....

The government is doing what American investors want. Initially trade to china seems good enough to pass. We engineer products and have them built real cheap, US corp. stocks rise equals high paying engineer jobs and more tax money. However what happens when China can engineer that same product? The trade becomes one-sided.

At some point mfg. jobs in America must be put over quick investor cash returns. Until then maybe we should buy some Dahua or Hikvision stock.

Great post John. What do you think the impact of the Chinese labor force "maturing", if you will? As time goes by, you would assume their labor force will start wanting higher pay, more benefits, better working conditions, etc. I know that being in a communist society, things are going to be a little different. Do you think the labor force will organize, form unions? If they experience an upgrade in quality of life, how long until they want another upgrade? They no longer live in a mud hut, but soon the company dorm will be insufficient and they will want a private apartment. Then a house. Then a McMansion....

I believe your questions are already answered with this modern China we're dealing with. Their labor force is already more expensive, they're already wanting more and more western luxuries. Every time I'm in Hangzhou or Shenzhen I see more $100,000+ luxury cars than I've ever seen in the states.

Because the labor is more expensive so are the products. Also, these Chinese manufacturers are outsourcing their own manufacturing to third party factories. The two leading Chinese companies don't even own their own factories anymore. Next time you're visiting Hangzhou ask them for a factory tour, you'll have to take the train to Shanghai.

As for McMansions, check out LA or SF and it's surrounding areas. There are more and more Chinese coming to America, doing business in America, trying to be American. Our government isn't protecting American businesses so why shouldn't they? If I was Chinese I would do it too...

The China of 1997-2007 is gone, there's a new China and it's not sustainable. Quality and Prices are just a race to the bottom. HiSilicon controls the market, no company is actually making their own features, programming, hardware. That's why when one company has "starlight" EVERY COMPANY (that can buy a HiSilicon Chip) has "starlight."

There's no innovation, there's no protection, and there's no future. Things have to, and already are, changing quite a bit. The real question is how will Americans (and all nations besides China) respond?

Anyone want to invest in an American electronics factory with me? I wonder if Americans would even buy an American electronics product if it wasn't Wal-mart cheap?

Until then maybe we should buy some Dahua or Hikvision stock.

John, as a point of information, it is probably going to be pretty hard for non-Chinese to buy those stocks as they are A shares which are fairly restricted to limited QFII funds.

I think you were making a general point but just in case anyone was really thinking about buying them, worth noting.

They can buy on our market but we can't buy on theirs! Hahahahah, amazingly fair trade! There's a reason they won't list on the Hong Kong exchange; it's harder for them to fudge numbers.

"They can buy on our market but we can't buy on theirs! Hahahahah, amazingly fair trade"

That's what amuses me about people who buy BABA and think they own an actual piece of Alibaba.

I believe more of the problem with China is that we Do Not have a trade agreement with China - They have basically unfettered access to the US market. It is easy to blame Americas failings on trade agreements but the efficient allocation of resources is going to happen regardless. In the US, a scarce resource is low-cost labor so we are fundamentally always going to be getting it from some where else - unless the American people will accept much higher costs which wont happen.

We should be pushing our government to establish a trade agreement with China not just unilaterally villanizing all trade agreements. Problem is they will never sign and they have bigger plans for global dominance and the US is in their way. Look for more future increased tentions between China and the US as they look to remove the US from their proclaimed waters, territories and trade routes.

But the politicians aren't doing anything for us, so we have to do something. Vote with our dollars I guess?

Update: Hikvision has deleted the Ezviz California 'Story' page:

And, on LinkedIn, Hikvision now acknowledges Ezviz is a subsidiary of Hikvision.

Mega companies trying to fake their identity is simply not prudent.

I know this is off topic, but can I just add that the dahua logo sucks so badly. It clearly says "AHUA". I mean HIKVision isn't much better really - you instantly think of red-neck trailer park hicks. Unless you pronounce it "Hike-Vision" - but even then, are we going on a hiking trip?

"Axis" is the best - very cool sounding name, good logo - they definitely nailed it.

Just had to throw that in.

IPVM supposed to be a fair and neutral website that can be used as a source. but this kind of news shows the enmity against Dahua since they did not accept sponsorship. this is not the first time. IPVM always give good news about HIKvision while destroys Dahua since HIKvision is one of IPVM sponsors. by the way dahua has more than 10K employees right now. you can easily check it in their website. I think now everybody feels IPVM discriminating behavior toward two Chinese manufacturer. I want to know WHY?

Someone had to vote yes... ;)

Seriously? Hikvision is also torn to shreds here, even more so than Dahua. They both get a little more respect than Woodsee and Cantook.

IPVM always give good news about HIKvision while destroys Dahua since HIKvision is one of IPVM sponsors.

Farzad, we have never take sponsorship or advertising or anything like that from Hikvision or any manufacturer, period.

As a Dahua distributor, I can understand why you naturally would be more focused on criticisms of the product you carry, but Hikvision gets a lot of criticism on IPVM, e.g.:

In general, we tend to criticize Hikvision's government connections the most, given how significant they are, while we more often criticize Dahua's marketing, because we think they are really bad at it.

As I mentioned in my email response to your email to us, we also routinely criticize Western companies, e.g.:

The reason we can freely criticize companies is because we do not take any sponsorships, advertising, etc. You may not agree, you may not like what we have to say, but we say what we believe, based on our ongoing independent research and testing.

The reason we can freely criticize companies is because..."

...we live and operate in a country with shared values that include the freedom to speak plainly about our opinions, even when some (including those in power) may not share those opinions.

Farzad, trust me, it's easier to find an honest man in Washington DC, than find a vendor that John likes.

Genetec?

Genetec gets less negative coverage because they rarely make big or braven marketing claims.

Here's one example though of us criticizing Genetec: Saddest Case Study Ever (Genetec Chinese Buffet).

Also, Genetec knows when to cut their losses.

Avigilon circa 2012-2014

Didn't March Networks do something very similar? When were acquired by Chinese company Infonova the press release claimed Infonova was headquartered in New Jersey...forgetting to mention that in was their "USA headquarters" office location.

Aptypically, in Infinova's case, their headquarters is in New Jersey and the CEO is based there as well as a number of the senior management team, though the factory is in China.

This is unlike Dahua where the US operations is a lower level sales, marketing and support office, not execs.

I really want to know who votes yes on this poll....

I already admitted to poisoning the poll!!

What I find amazing is that everyone who knows Dahua or Hikvision well says the same things about them, every time. Everyone despises & loathes them. Yet they keep buying them "because it's cheap" but then they complain that they can't make any money on them because it's being whored out on Amazon and eBay and the immoral manufacturers are stealing their own customer's customers...

But then again, we refuse to make things in America anymore... It's a sad state in this disposable America we've created. When can I distribute an American made security system?

Star-spangled banner ad:

Can you pass the Dahua pop quiz?

So first of all, this is a badly copied ad message done by many others outside the industry. The most notable parallel was the series of TV commercials done by Mazda for their "Skyactiv" where they (badly) tried to tie some historic event with their new car technologies.

At least the Mazda commercial tied significant innovations in history with Mazda's significant innovation now.

The Dahua ad says, "Hey look at this random discovery that happened back in 1848 that shaped California, we're in California too, so you should consider us awesome too."

When you compare to actual California companies that contributed notably to shaping California (Apple, Intel, Microsoft - or if you go more toward this industry, IQinVision and Arecont Vision) - then this feels like just another typical Asian advertising effort - from the hip and just copying what others have done without really thinking it through.

Redmond is in Washington, not Cali.

Oops, you're right. Sorry I just did an 11 day vacation in Washington, Oregon and California....things kind of blurred together.

Okay, Apple, Google, Yahoo, IQinVision and Arecont Vision...how's that? :)

I think the ad shows that at least Dahua understands the psychological component of how marketing works. The ad has nice composition, color, and branding; everything that is important for a brand. Marketing is about evoking a feeling from a customer and I think that by positioning themselves as an American company, they are trying to establish themselves as a new player in the American market.

What sort of baffles me is why they did not decide to leverage the fact that they are one of the largest suppliers and manufacturers of surveillance products internationally? Maybe they have market research that shows Americans do not like overtly knowing that their product was from China?

This is my point of contention with the ad; I know for the most part that advertisements are not inherently truthful, but why position yourself in such a way? It's not like they lack the technology to back up their claims...

I really want to see how their presence in the US plays in the next couple of years. I do not think a Chinese company entering into the American market will face the same barriers as an American company in China. US companies have had difficulties breaking into the Chinese market with Apple being the notable exception. But Apple already has problems maintaining their foothold in China.

I think the biggest hurdle for Dahua and Hikvision is that they have to capture market share in a market that they've helped saturate. They will also have to post up a significant profits if they're going to work off the short term debt that they have created for themselves.

Unrelated question: Is Hikvision selling Ezviz in China?

Not only are they selling EZVIZ in China, they sell a broader variety of products. They have alarm panels, home automation systems, intercoms, baby monitors, and more available over there. We have a few cameras, DVR kits, and an action cam.

Ezviz in China is the original Ezviz, as the ys7.com link you shared show.

From dealing with Hikvision, it appears that they think Americans are completely ignorant of anything that happens in China or written in Chinese.

What sort of baffles me is why they did not decide to leverage the fact that they are one of the largest suppliers and manufacturers of surveillance products internationally? Maybe they have market research that shows Americans do not like overtly knowing that their product was from China?

11, good question.

I agree with your underlying assumption that leading with the fact that they are a billion dollar company, manufacturing 10s of millions of cameras a year, etc. would be stronger than leading with the California pitch, even if that was not duplicitous.

Also, it gives the impression that they are ashamed of being Chinese and want to hide it.

Could we please update voting options to "Shi" or "No" ? Thanks!

We are Dahua. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile

Dahua has modified / softened the California / treasure aspect in their 2017 version of this campaign, 2016 vs 2017 ads shown side by side below:

Note that their street is named (coincidence?) after the California astronomer, Edwin Hubble, who in 1924 observed that most galaxies are receding and therefore that the universe is expanding.

Perhaps Dahua is hoping for a similar expansion from its own Big Bang efforts.

Dahua has modified...

Hubble would have called it a Red shift ;)

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