Hikvision Removed From US Embassy Afghanistan

By: John Honovich, Published on Nov 22, 2016

Hikvision cameras have been removed from the US Embassy Afghanistan and a procurement for more Hikvision cameras has been cancelled, after IPVM's report US Embassy Requires Hikvision Cameras triggered widespread criticism.

The Voice of America, a US government funded broadcaster, published feedback from the State Department, reporting:

A Hikvision camera system was initially installed to monitor non-sensitive electrical closets for theft prevention. The procurement in question was to either expand this or to install a new system. The procurement was cancelled September 2016 and the previously installed cameras were removed.

Given that Hikvision is a China state owned company, the ongoing cybersecurity concerns between China and the US, and the high security requirements of US Embassies, this is a reasonable decision.

However, this move sets a troublesome precedent for Hikvision who has been battling publicity of their being controlled by the China government in 2016, not only in the US but in Europe and Asia. Moreover, Hikvision has recently been expelled by Genetec, a VMS widely used by US government entities.

The fact that the US Embassy not only cancelled the procurement but went further to remove existing cameras shows the level of concern the Embassy took. It is unlikely that the Embassy was even aware of these issues as they have not been widely reported until this year.

As more US government departments gain knowledge of Hikvision's China state control and origins, we expect this to expand. While Hikvision has billions (both in domestic China revenue and China government loans), and has aggressively targeted enterprise US expansion, Hikvision will be challenged to overcome this.

Hikvision Responds

Hikvision has responded, via the China government controlled Global Times.

  • With regards to Hikvision equipment being removed from the US Embassy, Hikvision says they cannot confirm, noting that their products are sold through 'middlemen'.
  • They did not deny sending data back to the Chinese government. Instead, their response noted "it has always been committed to the Internet and information safety of its products, with research expenditures devoted and professional teams built up to continuously improve security." It is not clear if this is an oversight or a calculated non-denial.
  • Hikvision did deny monitoring US 'private space' though the the bigger risk is not using the cameras to watch video but using them to access sensitive or classified data within internal networks.

The fact that the China government run Global Times chose to run an article on this shows the significance of this event, even in their own perception.

8 reports cite this report:

NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...
Chinese Government Blocks IPVM on Oct 22, 2018
IPVM has been blocked by the Chinese government without any notice or explanation. This means IPVM.com is no longer officially accessible anywhere...
US Embassy Ukraine Specifies Hikvision on Feb 12, 2018
The US Embassy Ukraine specified 40 Hikvision cameras in 2017 despite Hikvision being removed from the US Embassy in Afghanistan in 2016. This...
Hikvision Removed From US Army Base, Congressional Hearing Called on Jan 12, 2018
Hikvision has been removed from a US Army Base and a US congressional committee is planning a hearing on cybersecurity risks and specifically,...
WSJ Investigates Hikvision on Nov 13, 2017
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has released a detailed investigation into Hikvision's government ownership and cybersecurity problems, hitting the...
'Dirty': Hikvision Attacks Genetec on Feb 20, 2017
Hikvision is angry at the growing public awareness that Hikvision is owned by the Chinese government. They took aim at Genetec,...
Hikvision Barred From US City Housing Authority Bid on Feb 14, 2017
A US city's housing authority has barred Hikvision products from their bid, due to 'increasing security concerns.' In the past few...
US Embassy Requires Hikvision Cameras on Aug 29, 2016
The US Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan has required only Hikvision cameras in a new US federal government bid. However: Hikvision was founded...
Comments (67) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on China

China Dahua Replaces Their Software With US Pepper on Aug 22, 2019
What does a US government banned company do to improve its security positioning in the US? Well, Dahua is unveiling a novel solution, partnering...
Uniview Beats Intel In Trademark Lawsuit on Aug 19, 2019
Uniview has won a long-running trademark lawsuit brought by Intel, with Beijing's highest court reversing an earlier Intel win, centered on...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Aug 13, 2019
Biometrics are commonly used in phones, but how frequently are they used for access? 150+ integrators told us how often they use biometrics,...
US Government Ban of Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei Takes Effect Now on Aug 13, 2019
The 'prohibition on use or procurement' of Dahua, Hikvision and Huawei products and 'essential components' take effect today, August 13, 2019, one...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Aug 11, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...
Stanley Makes "Multi-Million Dollar Investment" Into Banned Hikvision Products on Aug 09, 2019
Just days from the US government ban going into effect, US mega-corporation Stanley has dramatically increased its imports of banned Hikvision...
Indonesia Security Association Chairman Interview on Aug 01, 2019
Indonesia is a huge country with a population close to the US and a fast-growing economy. Its security industry is also growing rapidly but faces...
Hikvision Cameras Covering Concentration Camps on Jul 29, 2019
Hikvision cameras monitoring a concentration camp were shown in a recent BBC investigation: The video excerpt shows the Hikvision cameras and...
Australia Security Full Show Report on Jul 25, 2019
IPVM went to Australia attending the 3 days of the Australia Security Exhibition: This was held at the ICC Sydney, as shown below: In this...
History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to ab emerging AI cloud era.  The goal of this history is to...

Most Recent Industry Reports

China Dahua Replaces Their Software With US Pepper on Aug 22, 2019
What does a US government banned company do to improve its security positioning in the US? Well, Dahua is unveiling a novel solution, partnering...
Security Integrators Outlook On Remaining Integrators In 2025 on Aug 22, 2019
The industry has changed substantially in the last decade, with the rise of IP cameras and the race to the bottom. Indeed, more changes may be...
First GDPR Facial Recognition Fine For Sweden School on Aug 22, 2019
A school in Sweden has been fined $20,000 for using facial recognition to keep attendance in what is Sweden's first GDPR fine. Notably, the fine is...
Anyvision Facial Recognition Tested on Aug 21, 2019
Anyvision is aiming for $1 billion in revenue by 2022, backed by $74 million in funding. But does their performance live up to the hype they have...
Dahua 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 20, 2019
Dahua's new Pro Series 4K N85CL5Z claims to "deliver superior images in all lighting and environmental conditions", but how does this compare to...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Uniview Beats Intel In Trademark Lawsuit on Aug 19, 2019
Uniview has won a long-running trademark lawsuit brought by Intel, with Beijing's highest court reversing an earlier Intel win, centered on...
Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined on Aug 19, 2019
While Suprema is rarely discussed even within the physical security market, the South Korean biometrics manufacturer made global news this past...
Verkada People And Face Analytics Tested on Aug 16, 2019
This week, Verkada released "People Analytics", including face analytics that they describe is a "game-changing feature" that "pushes the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact