Dahua and Hikvision Products Illegally Sold To US Government GSA

By: Dan Gelinas and John Honovich, Published on May 06, 2019

Dahua and Hikvision products are being widely and illegally sold to the US government GSA. The sellers are falsely claiming these China products to be made in the USA and Switzerland, among others.

In response to IPVM's investigation, Dahua and Hikvision tell IPVM that they have not sold anything to the GSA and are sending cease and desist letters to 3rd party companies selling their products on the GSA.

Who is wrong here? Why are these products listed on the GSA? Inside this note, we examine the ongoing and growing problem.

We first examined this same phenomenon in 2017, when ~1,400 Hikvision products with false "Made in the USA" designations were discovered and called out by us to the GSA and its offending vendors. The products were subsequently removed.

China-Made Products Not Allowed On GSA

Furthermore, China-made products, like Dahua and Hikvision, are not allowed on the GSA. The Trade Agreements Act (TAA) (After 30 minutes of inactivity, GSA Advantage website pages time out and will need to be refreshed.) specifies that any products sold on the GSA must meet certain guidelines, including being manufactured or "substantially transformed" in a TAA-designated country. China is not on the list, but Mexico, Switzerland, and Taiwan are. 

IPVM found Dahua and Hikvision products known to be manufactured in China listed variously as manufactured in the USA, Switzerland, Mexico, and Taiwan. An example of false US manufacturing for Hikvision is seen below (flag image added):

An example of a false Swiss origin for Dahua is below (flag image added):

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The following shows a false Mexican origin for Hikvsion (flag image added):

The following shows an example of false Taiwanese manufacturer (flag image added):

Nearly 4,000 China-Made Products Available

Searching for "Hikvision" on the GSA Advantage site returns 1,600+ listings, as seen below:

Adding Dahua products to the list increases the quantity of available illegal and TAA-violating products to ~3,500 total products, as seen below:

IPVM did not perform a search for all known Dahua and Hikvision OEMs. See our directory of Dahua OEMs here and our directory of Hikvision OEMs here.

How Dahua and Hikvision responded

Dahua said that they did not manufacture anything in Switzerland and told IPVM that the place of manufacture of their products was always clearly marked and that they had issued cease and desist letters to offenders:

All our price lists outline very clearly where the product is manufactured. We have identified 4 dealers/integrators that are on the GSA schedule with Dahua product with POO that is incorrect. Our Legal Team will send out cease and desist letters to these organizations.

Dahua also said that none of the vendors selling Dahua on GSA were part of its 'All-Star' dealer program.

Hikvision said they were taking steps to correct the issue:

The listings were not made by authorized dealers or distributors. We are in the process of sending cease and desist letters to the companies which made the listings and we will also request GSA to delete them. We have contacted GSA previously and will do so again to make it clear that the majority of Hikvision’s products are made in China.

Hikvision also said that "the majority of Hikvision's products are made in China," with a small amount made in "manufacturing facilities in both India and Brazil." It is IPVM's understanding that 99% of all Hikvision products are manufactured in China.

Vendors Selling Dahua and Hikvision Via GSA

The largest Vendor selling Dahua is Document Imaging Dimensions. They have ~800 Dahua products. The full list of vendors selling Dahua can be found here.

The largest vendor selling Hikvision on the GSA is International Commerce & Marketing. They hold over 1,100 Hikvision products. The full list of vendors selling Hikvision can be found here.

Our previous reporting (Hikvision False 'Made In USA', Sold to US Government), made clear that it is the responsibility of vendors on the GSA to "ensure that product information is accurately ... displayed on GSA Advantage." The GSA's Vendor Support Center page spells out the requirement:

It is the responsibility of each Schedule vendor to ensure that product information is accurately incorporated into the contract and displayed on GSA Advantage!® throughout the life of the contract.

Emails to the top Dahua and Hikvision vendors on GSA were not returned.

How The GSA Responded

The GSA told IPVM during a call that we would need to send an email expressing our concerns to the general customer service email gsa.advantage@gsa.gov and they would forward the email on to management for attention.

The GSA has not responded to our email.

Selling Dahua And Hikvision To The Government  Will Be illegal

On August 13th, 2019, selling Dahua and Hikvision on the GSA will not only be a violation of the TAA, but will also be illegal according to the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (see our coverage of the passage of the NDAA here) signed into law in 2018. The language of the NDAA makes clear that procurement of Dahua or Hikvision by US Government agencies will be illegal:

Furthermore, the US Government is in the process of writing 2 Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs) implementing an effective blacklist on companies that sell Hikvision and Dahua at all. Such companies will be precluded from selling to the US Government.

Outlook

Based on our current and earlier interactions with the GSA, they are poor at handling this sort of self-monitoring and subsequent policing of their own policies.

It is surprising that vendors would try to fool the public on the place of manufacture for Hikvision, for example, given how widely publicized the Chinese-State-owned company's public perception battle is (see our coverage of where Hikvision's troubles have been publicized here).

We expect the offending items to be removed shortly, however, it will be interesting to see if and how soon they will be added back.

We will update this story when/if more information is received.

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