Hikvision Removed From US Embassy Afghanistan

Author: 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.

7 reports cite this report:

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

Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Chinese Government Increases Hikvision Ownership on Nov 12, 2018
The Chinese government - Hikvision's controlling shareholder - is increasing its ownership of the video surveillance giant amid sharp stock price...
Directory Of Video Doorbells on Nov 06, 2018
Video doorbells are one of the fastest growing categories in video surveillance, especially among residences. The optimal placement of these...
Network Cable Shootout - Belden, Hikvision, Honeywell, NavePoint CCA, Windy City Wire on Nov 05, 2018
Every IP camera install needs UTP cabling. But how much of a difference is there between dirt cheap generic cables found online and the bigger,...
Unisight Company Profile on Nov 01, 2018
Hikvision's largest US OEM, LTS has started to carry Unisight, whose products (shown below) look a lot like Hikvision's rival Dahua: Who is...
Hikvision President Addresses AI and USA Challenges on Oct 31, 2018
In frank recent China interviews, Hikvision's President Hu Yangzhong has addressed challenges impacting the video surveillance industry and...
Wyze Explosive Growth Disrupting Consumer IP Camera Market on Oct 30, 2018
Wyze, a company founded only in 2017, is poised to disrupt the consumer IP camera market by combining American marketing and Chinese manufacturing...
Hikvision Parent Conducts Communist Party Training, Urges Strengthened Party Leadership on Oct 30, 2018
Employees of Hikvision’s parent (CETHIK, for CETC HIKvision) underwent intensive Chinese Communist Party training last month where they came up...
Huawei To Be “Top Three Global Position” in Video Surveillance on Oct 29, 2018
Huawei - China’s biggest networking gear and smartphone maker - plans to become one of the top three global video surveillance manufacturers in...
World’s Top Press Freedom Watchdog RSF Condemns China's IPVM Block on Oct 26, 2018
Reporters Without Borders, the world’s top press freedom watchdog, has condemned IPVM getting blocked in China after its critical reporting of...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Report on Nov 15, 2018
ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed as the "Largest Annual Northeast U.S. Security...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...

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