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.

6 reports cite this report:

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...
Comments (62): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Amazon Sales of Hikvision China Cameras on Jan 12, 2017
Hikvision has become widely available in the US, including on popular retail outlets like Amazon, with over 2,600 results: 4MP Hikvision outdoor...
Hikvision New R&D Base To Create 10,000+ Jobs, Says Chinese Government on Jan 10, 2017
Hikvision has secured a major new China government partnership.  In this note, we examine the official statement from the Chinese government and...
How Axis Can Beat Hikvision on Jan 09, 2017
Hikvision has rocked the industry globally, bullying former video surveillance revenue leader Axis even in the Western world. What can Axis...
Introduction To Burglar Alarm Systems on Jan 04, 2017
While alarm systems are popular, balancing between the right level of protection, the appropriate components and an acceptable price can be very...
Hikvision Sales and Support Conflict Over Discontinuation on Dec 28, 2016
Numerous Hikvision technical support employees have confirmed that the iVMS-4500 will be discontinued. Some Hikvision sales people say this is...
China Government Funds $100 Million South American Security / Surveillance Project on Dec 27, 2016
Chinese manufacturers stand to benefit from new funding that the Chinese government is giving to a South American country for a $100+ million...
The Future of Video Surveillance Distribution on Dec 22, 2016
40+ video surveillance distributors around the world told us what they see as the present and future of distribution. The key positive: solutions....
Hikvision False 'Made In USA', Sold to US Government on Dec 20, 2016
A China State Owned Company, Hikvision products are listed as "Made In United States of America" and for sale to US government agencies, despite...
Yes, Milestone, The Glory Days Are Over on Dec 20, 2016
Milestone challenges: Are the glory days over? Or are we in a position as a Community to defy these ominous predictions and define the future...
2017 Video Surveillance Predictions on Dec 15, 2016
2017 should be an active, if not rocky, year for the security industry, according to predictions from IPVM integrators. We surveyed integrators,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

2Gig Expands Into Commercial Intrusion With Vario on Jan 23, 2017
2GIG, an alarm product manufacturer best known for their wireless products, has introduced a new line of wired panels aimed at the commercial...
Integrator Service Vehicle Guide on Jan 23, 2017
Few assets are as commonly used by integrators and installers as their service vehicles. 125 integrators explained to IPVM in detail about their...
Goodbye Samsung, Hello Wisenet X on Jan 23, 2017
Samsung is gone but Hanwha is back. Their latest generation Wisenet X, touts a slew of new high end features including H.265, WiseStream II,...
Vivotek Favorability Results on Jan 20, 2017
Financially, Vivotek is doing relatively well. The company did ~$130 million in 2015 revenue and 2016 revenue (through Q3 reported) was up more...
PR Firm Pleads Don't Scrap PR Spending on Jan 20, 2017
PR is not dying, warns pleads PR firm. Take 40+ year old industry PR firm LRG, who recently lamented the 'misconceptions' that: Traditional PR...
Getting Started With Your IPVM Membership on Jan 20, 2017
Here's how to get started and get the most out of your IPVM membership. Books for Members All members can download the 3 member-only books below...
Jim Cramer Sucks Up To Knightscope on Jan 19, 2017
Credit must be given to Knightscope. They are raising money right now and despite their $80 million pre-money valuation against a lowly sub $1...
ADT Launches Canopy - Professional Monitoring For DIY Devices on Jan 19, 2017
The intrusion industry has criticized DIY security systems for years, claiming systems like Canary or Scout cannot match professionally installed...
Dahua UnFavorability Results on Jan 19, 2017
Dahua, the mega-Chinese surveillance manufacturer not primarily owned by the Chinese government has been trying to break out of the shadow of...
Paxton Hosted Access - Disruptive Low Dealer Pricing on Jan 19, 2017
Paxton is entering the hosted access game, with BLU, at a cost that is a fraction of key competitors. The different approach could be very...

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