Hikvision Exec Simultaneously Chinese Government Security Leader

By: 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) 2016 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.

Hikvision Chairman Also China Government Official

Pu is not the only Hikvision employee who is simultaneously a government official. Indeed, Hikvision's chairman is a Communist Party secretary as described in the Hikvision 2015 annual report (p. 62):

Chen currently serves as the head of 52nd Institute, the chairman and the Communist Party secretary of China Electronics Technology HIK Group Co., Ltd. (中电海康集团, CETHIK) and chairman of the Company [Hikvision]

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.

13 reports cite this report:

Milestone Adds Anti-Abuse, Anti-China 'Copenhagen Clause' on Feb 26, 2019
Milestone announced, at its annual MIPS Americas partner conference, the addition of a 'Copenhagen clause' that strengthens their human rights...
Hikvision Chairman Joins China National Government (NPC) on Mar 13, 2018
Hikvision Chairman and Communist Party Secretary Chen Xongnian has joined the People's Republic of China's government - the National People's...
"Fear Mongering": Hikvision USA Cybersecurity Director Dismisses Chinese Government Ownership Concerns on Feb 16, 2018
The facts are: The Chinese government created Hikvision and is Hikvision's controlling shareholder. Hikvision's Chairman, a Communist Party...
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...
Hikvision Attacks IPVM on Mar 20, 2017
Hikvision has attacked IPVM repeatedly over the last month, both in the international press and in its dealer communications. Attacks Listed On...
'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 CEO Declares 'We Do Not Cut Rates" on Dec 02, 2016
Hikvision has led another press trip to China, and this time Hikvision's CEO is sharing insights into their competitive strategy, including...
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...
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...
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...
Hikvision Nvidia Supercomputing Partnership on Jul 18, 2016
Hikvision is gearing up its supercomputing efforts. Partnering with Nvidia, one of the US' largest tech companies, doing $5 billion revenue...
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...
Hikvision And The Chinese Government on Dec 07, 2015
Here are the facts about Hikvision's China government ownership. #1 Fact - Hikvision CEO Admits China Government Ownership In the China...
Comments (61) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Kidnapping Victim Rescued With Video From Ring Doorbell Camera on May 24, 2019
A kidnapping victim was rescued within 24 hours, with the police crediting video from a Ring Doorbell camera as key to solving the case. A girl was...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 22, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
Trump Signs 'Huawei Ban' - Executive Order Targeting Foreign Adversary Technology on May 16, 2019
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order targeting technology provided by 'foreign adversaries', in what is widely being called a...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
China PRC Government New National Video Surveillance Standards on May 14, 2019
The People's Republic of China (PRC) government has released a new set of overarching standards for authorities to follow when they install video...
Vivotek Talks About Taiwan, China, Bans, AI And Business Development on May 10, 2019
Vivotek, Taiwan's biggest manufacturer by revenue, did not have a booth at Taiwan's Secutech 2019 (which we are covering). However,...
10 Facial Recognition Providers Review (Secutech) on May 09, 2019
Adding to our 19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled report from ISC West, IPVM focused on facial recognition technology for our Day 2 coverage...
Secutech Taipei 2019 Show Report, Impacted By Expected Hikua Ban on May 08, 2019
IPVM is in Taipei attending SecuTech 2019: The most significant new development at the show is Dahua and Hikvision pulling out after many years...

Most Recent Industry Reports

NJ Law Requires Apprenticeship For Public Works Integrators on May 24, 2019
Few integrators do a formal apprenticeship program. However, now a NJ law is requiring any integrator on public works projects (such as state...
Security / Privacy Journalist Sam Pfeifle Interview on May 24, 2019
Sam Pfeifle is best known as the outspoken former Editor of Security Systems News. After that, he was publications director at the International...
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
ASCMA / Monitronics Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan on May 22, 2019
Monitronics is entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, also called Ascent Capital Group Inc., aka ASCMA, aka Brinks Home Security,...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what 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