Hikvision Exec Simultaneously Chinese Government Security Leader

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 27, 2016

New information shows a Hikvision executive is simultaneously a leader within the Chinese government national security ministry.

This runs counter to Hikvision's assertions that state owned enterprises simply own shares of Hikvision.

In this note, we examine the relationship and what this means for Hikvision and the global market.

Executive / Leader

A Hikvision EVP recently participated in a US company's technology (Nvidia) conference. Here is how Hikvision described their executive:

He holds 3 roles, in the 'privately' held Hikvision, in the government owned defense contractor CETC and the national government itself, the Ministry of Public Security.

Ministry of Public Security

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security is China's national police, who in addition to dealing with typical crimes (like thefts, assaults, murders, etc.), is in charge of suppressing 'crimes' against the Communist party.

The Ministry operates detention centers, as HRW explains:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

"The Ministry of Public Security operates the detention centers, permitting police unlimited and unsupervised access to detainees. Lawyers are not allowed to be present during interrogations; and suspects have no right to remain silent, violating their right against self-incrimination. Procurators and judges rarely question or challenge police conduct, and internal oversight mechanisms remain weak."

Tortures and deaths in custody from the Ministry, though, are reported to be decreasing as noted in a UK government report:

The Ministry of Public Security, the agency in charge of the police, claims that the use of coerced confessions decreased 87 percent in 2012, that cell bosses who abuse fellow suspects are “things of the past,” and that deaths in custody reached a “historic low” in 2013.

Hikvision is understandably a major player in the Ministry's efforts since China's massive video surveillance systems provides a powerful means to monitor and suppress any opposition to the Party.

China CETC

The other organization cited is CETC, the Chinese Electronic Technology Corporation, which is a division of the Chinese government serving a dual use civilian / military role in developing electronic systems, such as Hikvision.

According to CETC's own website, they own Hikvision:

Given this relationship, the fact that a Hikvision executive would simultaneously be a leader within this government organization is understandable.

Upsides for Hikvision

Though Hikvision downplays / obscures its direct connections with the Chinese government, having these are clearly a powerful revenue driver. The Chinese government is the largest buyer of video surveillance in the world and having your executive be a technology leader for the Chinese national police is quite an advantage for the billions spent over this decade.

Refusal to Address

Hikvision has made it clear that they will not (or can not) address their much deeper government connection. This arose most prominently in their promotion within the China Communist Party.

Risks for the World

Just like the Chinese government would want to know and would be concerned about the security implications of buying surveillance technology from a US company whose executives are part of the US government, so too would many international buyers.

Given the Chinese government ownership of Hikvision, given Hikvision's pledge to comply with the Communist party, given their executive who is simultaneously a government leader, that is a fair amount of risk for those deploying security systems in countries with security concerns about China.

And with Hikvision's leadership within the Ministry of Public Security, given the Ministry's track record of torture and human rights abuses, raises concerns about whether one wants to support such activities.

It is one thing to simply be a company operating in a country, and unfair to blame them for their government's actions. It is entirely different when a company is part of that government. Hikvision / China.

2 reports cite this report:

Dahua Distributor Angered "Always Give Good News About Hikvision" on Aug 11, 2016
A Dahua distributor is angry that "IPVM always give good news about HIKvision while destroys Dahua." I can understand the frustration, not of...
US Government Entities Hard Spec Hikvision on May 26, 2016
The US and Chinese governments are working together. Now, US government entities are not only buying video surveillance products from the Chinese...
Comments (62): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Longse Rips Off Hikvision on Oct 19, 2016
Longse is on the attack, and now they are targeting Hikvision. Evidently not content just to rip off Milestone and Video Insight, Longse has now...
China "Unswerving Leadership Over State-Owned Enterprises" Like Hikvision on Oct 18, 2016
The PR agency of the Chinese government declared: President Xi Jinping stressed the Communist Party of China's (CPC) unswerving leadership over...
Hikvision Declares No Subsidies But Financials Show $189 Million Subsidies on Oct 13, 2016
Hikvision alleges that they receive no subsidies but their own financial records show $189 million of subsidies in 2015. Hikvision 'overseas' has...
Hikvision CEO Admits Hikvision China State-Owned Company on Oct 06, 2016
Hikvision's CEO admitted that Hikvision is a China state-owned company, during a 2015 visit to Hikvision from Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of...
Top 5 Biggest Access Control Problems 2016 on Oct 06, 2016
New IPVM survey data reveals integrator's top 5 problems with electronic access control: High Cost Complex Doors and Hardware Lowball...
Undercover Investigation Into Hikvision on Oct 03, 2016
An undercover investigation into Hikvision's HQ was conducted by a leading UK newspaper, the Daily Mail, revealing how Hikvision's video...
The 'Last Chance to Save' On Hikvision Is Here on Sep 29, 2016
It is over. After at least 8 across the board price cuts in the past 10 months, including an unprecedented back to back 20% off, Hikvision has...
Hikvision Chairman Tours With Chinese Government Boss on Sep 28, 2016
Two China Communist senior officials toured Europe this summer, one was Hikvision's Chairman and the other was his boss, SASAC Director. In this...
Ambarella CEO Admits H.265 and 4K Not Popular on Sep 26, 2016
Ambarella is the main chip provider for high-end surveillance cameras driving higher resolution and new CODECs. While Ambarella has been pushing...
Times Investigates Hikvision's Chinese Government Control on Sep 16, 2016
The Times of UK, founded in 1785 with 1.6 million daily readers, has published a 2 part investigation into Hikvision's government...

Most Recent Industry Reports

"WTF?!?!? Who is Brian Karas?!?" Exclaims Knightscope on Oct 21, 2016
Knightscope co-founder Stacy Stephens emailed us: He may not have intended to send it us and he probably can figure out who Brian Karas is,...
Security Consultants Speak Episode 1 - Protus3 on Oct 21, 2016
This is a first of a series of conversations with security consultants. If you are a security consultant that wants to talk and can share frank...
Sony and Samsung Breaking VBR on Oct 21, 2016
For years, users have known variable bitrate (VBR) as one thing only: bandwidth varies, compression stays the same. This is not an accident but an...
Pelco Matrix End Of Life - End Of An Era on Oct 20, 2016
Pelco Matrix switchers, once the pinnacle of large SD analog installations, are now literally impossible to build. The Matrix products were not...
Axis Video Revenue Down on Oct 20, 2016
An important milestone. Axis revenue for video products is down year over year. But Axis is now focusing on 'diversification'. In this report, we...
Worst Access Control 2016 on Oct 19, 2016
Two access control providers stood out as being the worst to work with for integrators. In this report, we analyze the answers to: "In the past...
Hacked DVRs Surge To 400,000 on Oct 19, 2016
The global internet is under attack from record breaking botnets. And it is getting worse, Mirai doubled in size in the last month. Shamefully,...
China "Unswerving Leadership Over State-Owned Enterprises" Like Hikvision on Oct 18, 2016
The PR agency of the Chinese government declared: President Xi Jinping stressed the Communist Party of China's (CPC) unswerving leadership over...
Move Aside Cisco, Axis Has A Network Switch For Integrators on Oct 18, 2016
Cisco is a common choice for network switches, including in our Favorite Network Switches survey, but now Axis is releasing a 16 port PoE+ switch...

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