Hikvision Removed From US GSA Sales

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 31, 2017

The US Government's GSA has removed Hikvision manufactured products for sale following IPVM's criticism of Hikvision being listed as 'Made In USA'.

In December 2016, over 1,400 Hikvision products were listed and available for sale to the US military, US federal agencies, US state governments, etc. In particular, two Hikvision re-sellers were selling hundreds of Hikvision products and falsely categorizing the Chinese government owned manufacturer's products as 'Made In USA'.

Now, those Hikvision manufactured products have been removed.

Remaining on the GSA are only a few products that are labelled Hikvision but listed under a different manufacturer 'UNITED DGITAL' / 'United Digital Technologies.

Clearly, Hikvision products are not made in the USA and as we explained in the original post, due to their China government origin are against the rules of being sold on the US GSA.

Explanation Earlier

The GSA initially responded to an IPVM inquiry a few weeks ago:

The [Hikvision] products offered by Global Data Center were refurbished in the United States, and therefore are TAA compliant products. We take Supply Chain Risk Management very seriously and we thank you for the information. We will look into it accordingly.

The refurbishment claim made little sense on many levels - even if the models were refurbished, such a move would only restore them to their original state, not transform it; such refurbishment could not reasonably be verified and would therefore be an easy loophole for unscrupulous sellers; and finally that it would not be feasible to have hundreds of different refurbished models available, including 'refurbished' Hikvision brackets, one of the many listed models.

GSA Removes

In the past two weeks, however, the GSA has removed those thousand plus Hikvision parts / models. The GSA responded to IPVM's request for comment but said they needed approval from their communications team to make a statement. Such approval has not been provided. We suspect they discovered that the 'refurbishment' claim was groundless.

Positive Resolution

The USA GSA should be commended for removing Hikvision products and Hikvision should be aware that IPVM shall continue to monitor for such abuses. The sale of Hikvision, Chinese government owned manufacturer's surveillance equipment, is a risk to the US government.

4 reports cite this report:

US Air Force Cancels Hikvision RFQ on May 01, 2017
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Hikvision False 'Made In USA', Sold to US Government on Dec 20, 2016
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Comments (23)

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This is another good example that calling out issues publicly helps get them resolved. The reason is 20% IPVM and 80% you who read IPVM. The attention these articles receive and the resulting complaints you make build a level of concern that organizations take seriously.

This started with a member's email to us. We periodically check GSA for Hikvision listings but earlier in 2016, the listings were very few. A member emailed us in December alerting us to 1,000+ new listings which triggered us doing the article, and the subsequent removal from the GSA.

Let us know (info@ipvm.com) of any issues with any manufacturer. It will be treated confidentially and we will investigate.

John -

The community of readers and your publications help all of us become better consumers, advocates and activists. As I've commented in past, the law is clear about Chinese goods in the Federal Marketplace - glad to see the GSA is now applying regulations appropriately.

Thanks for your good work.

Ed

Well done.

Kudos to John and the rest of the IPVM team!

Xi Jinping is going to remove you from his Christmas card list now. No matter. President Trump just added you to his! Well done!

Without getting into the politics of this, I will say that having non-USA made anything on the GSA list is absurd. How anyone allowed that to begin with should be tarred and feathered... or waterboarded, thanks to Trump.

So what practical IP PTZ cameras are actually made in the USA? So little (if any) tech at this level is actually manufactured in the USA.... I wouldn't be surprised if GSA had to remove all cameras completely once they vetted the list for real. And *all* mobile phones for that matter to boot. Get my point about reality vs nationalist chest beating?

All I'm saying is there are rules about GSM money being spent on US made products. As long as that is a hard rule, it has to be obeyed.

If the rule cannot be followed, it needs to be changed in some way. But cheating the system is low ball, scum of the earth territory.

I agree. However, I expect there is a lot of cheating or the list of available products would be nearly empty. Maybe if you do final assembly of components in the US before delivering, that can be considered "made in USA" for GSA standards. Kinda like when the guy at Walmart puts the wheels on the bike you just bought your kid. "Made in USA" now. Good to go. ;-)

There are a long list of 'designated countries' that may be sold in the US GSA. It includes Korea, Japan and Taiwan to name just a few countries that regularly make surveillance cameras. China is not on the list. Full list of designated countries here.

Another serious problem that GSA contends with is counterfeit gear - approved "Western brand" equipment that has been copied or refurbished. There is a notable amount of it making its way into the supply chain via disreputable internet suppliers and disreputable contractors who purchase it outside of approved channels and don't bother to verify if it is in fact legitimate equipment.

China of course is a primary source of counterfeit networking equipment that may have back doors or weakened security built in. So, that new Cisco or HP PoE switch that may be found on an internet supply house site for half the price - probably counterfeit or an unsanctioned refurb, and installing it into your customer's secure network is malpractice of the highest order, and, when installing it in a government network can become criminal.

Interesting article. I wonder how many other products are on the GSA Schedule that are not technically made in Trade Compliant countries?

Good job. Keep up the good work.

Great Job! This is a fantastic accomplishment on the part of IPVM. The industry should have a lobbying group to take on these issues. You have started to fill that void.

Thanks.

Ironically, the industry does have a lobbying group - SIA - but SIA is funded and run by the manufacturers so it is hard for them to take actions that would hurt specific members, like Hikvision.

I would be surprised if those cameras "made" in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea are not sourcing many of their parts elsewhere. Even China and Taiwan have trade agreements of apx. $200 Billion a year. Has the GSA looked in depth as to who is really making what for whom?

Just saying,

James

Good Job John,

Obviously, IPVM's independence and watchdog approach on these type issues, yields far better results and actions, than that of other (unnamed) industry lobbying group(s).

Thanks for protecting our interests!

- Terry

any other oddities? Like... how's a Swedish camera maker meet this requirement? Or any other import for that matter.

p.s. IMO one should never underestimate the creativity of beltway bandits attempting to slide things onto the GSA pricelist. We used to watch them do amazing things to sell TCP/IP under "GOSIP" compliance...

Like... how's a Swedish camera maker meet this requirement?

Sweden is on the list of designated countries whose products may be sold on the GSA

Link didn't work for me. I assume you meant http://info.winvale.com/taa-compliant-countries-for-gsa (hope that link worked.) This requires it be "substantially transformed" in the US or a signatory country. So if someone makes a camera in, say Kiribati, and they do "substantial" final assembly in the US, they'd be fine. Which answers my question, yes.

So if someone makes a camera in, say Kiribati, and they do "substantial" final assembly in the US, they'd be fine.

No, that is wrong.

Since Kiribati is on the list, the camera can be made in Kiribati and sold on the US GSA, same thing if the camera was made in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, etc.

If the camera was 'made' in China, it would require 'substantial transformation' in the US. That was the point in the original post about the Hikvision partner claiming they refurbished cameras, which was their tactic to 'transform' the camera, which now, de facto, the GSA has rejected.

Is there a official GSA document that cites this ?

There is no document I am aware of that cites the removal. We have spoken with GSA several times on this, and they have confirmed that the Hikvision products should not be listed on GSA schedules.

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