Hikvision Falsely Alleges PRC Government Ownership 'Exactly the Same As" Apple or GoogleBy Conor Healy, Published Feb 22, 2022, 10:59am EST
Hikvision's CSO falsely and publicly said Hikvision's PRC China government ownership is "exactly the same" as "how the United States government has shares in Apple or Google." However, the PRC government is the creator and controlling shareholder of Hikvision, whereas the US government has no shares in Apple or Google.
Hikvision "Exactly the same" as Apple/Google
Hikvision's Fred Streefland presented to German partners with slides prepared to address questions including, "Is Hikvision a Chinese, state-owned, and controlled business?"
Streefland said, "No, Hikvision is not Chinese government controlled" and Hikvision is "exactly the same" as Apple or Google in this respect:
This is a question we always get. Is Hikvision Chinese government controlled? And no, Hikvision is not Chinese government controlled. Hikvision is a public company with shareholders, and that is the company. Of course the Chinese government has some of those shares, but it’s not different than how the United States government has shares in Apple or Google, and that’s exactly the same. So we are not a Chinese government controlled company. [emphasis added]
He added, "if you ever get that question, you know now the real story." Streefland's slides reiterated his position, meaning these were not just off the cuff comments made in error:
Hikvision: Created and Controlled by PRC China
The truth is that Hikvision, unlike Apple or Google, was created and is controlled by the PRC China government.
Hikvision's own financial filings list its "controlling shareholder" as "state-owned":
The company was created by the CETC, a state-owned military technology company, via its 52nd Research Institute which Hikvision's chairman Chen Zongnian still leads. Hikvision itself has supplied and collaborated with China's military.
This 2-minute video explains Hikvision's PRC government origins in more depth:
Apple & Google: No Gov't Ownership or Origins
Unlike Hikvision, Apple and Google were created privately by entrepreneurs, and the US has no shares in either company. In fact, the US government does not invest in the stock market at all, and only a limited number of state-tied corporations exist like Freddie Mac.
The US government, unlike the PRC government, does not regularly buy or hold shares in corporations, a topic discussed in a 2020 WSJ editorial.
Hikvision No Response
Hikvision did not respond to IPVM's multiple requests for comments.
Streefland Becoming Hikvision's Main Public Advocate
While Hikvision's senior leaders, including Corporate Vice President, Global Affairs Jeffrey He and Global Communications and PR Director Karl Erik Traberg, have been virtually silent for years, Fred Streefland is quickly becoming Hikvision's main public advocate, though the factual errors that Streefland make are significant, for example, his "devices with backdoors can’t be used to spy" remarks:
Whether or not Streefland is helping Hikvision, especially with its core dealer base, remains to be seen.
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