Hikvision and the China Communist Party

By John Honovich, Published Jan 12, 2016, 12:00am EST

Just days after getting $3 billion financing from the Chinese government, Hikvision celebrated opening their own Communist Party company committee. While undoubtedly a great honor and powerful move inside of China, the impact of this to the rest of the world is much more concerning.

In yet another English language exclusive, IPVM examines what Hikvision is doing and the risks this presents for the global video surveillance industry.

Opens Communist Committee

On December 9, 2015, Hikvision held the inaugural meeting of their Communist party committee, led by Hikvision's Chairman / Communist Party Secretary as well as attended by Hikvision's President and various Hikvision senior managers.

In fairness to Hikvision, Hikvision is not new to the Communist party. As the release confirms, this move is a promotion, previously Hikvision had been lower down in the Communist Party, as a branch.

Also, this release (from their parent government division), notes that Hikvision is a state owned enterprise, i.e., government run as well, something that Hikvision generally attempts to downplay / deny.

Hikvision Pledges to Comply and Strengthen The Communist Party

Hikvision's Chairman of the Board and Communist party secretary declared their allegiance:

"Every party member must consciously accept the [Communist] party's leadership, effectively strengthening the party's leadership, strengthen the Party's vitality, comply with party discipline.... All Party members united as one, as "personal dream", "Hikvision Dream", "China Dream" and efforts!" [emphasis added]

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

And in August 2016, Hikvision's Chairman declared:

First, we must stand on the national strategic level, we must first create a "state-owned enterprises through management innovation, institutional innovation, technological innovation, and maintain good control, influence, dynamic and competitive "model, will become the direct control of the Party Central Committee

China Communist Party = China Government

The China Communist party is the Chinese government, as China is a one party state. Given that Hikvision is a government owned company in a country ruled by the Communist party, the relationship is understandable. Hikvision's promotion, along with the $3 billion, shows Hikvision's importance to the party and the government.

Concerns With the China Communist Party

From massive corruption to brutal repression of those who criticize them, the Chinese Communist Party is an authoritarian regime.

Most directly impactful for video surveillance users is cyber spying and privacy rights concerns.

Cyber Spying

China runs an advanced cyber spying program against the United States and other Western countries. Having millions of Hikvision cameras inside foreign networks is very valuable for Chinese government spying. Hikvision already has the worst track record in video surveillance for cyber security breaches. We suspect that Hikvision's errors are primarily due to incompetence but given their government ownership and the importance of cyber spying to the Chinese Communist party, this is a serious risk and a tempting target.

Privacy Rights

Privacy, even of its own citizens, is a far secondary concern to monitoring and stopping those who would criticize or oppose them. If the Party believes that spying of anyone is for the good of the Party / China, there is no law or internal check that will prevent them from doing it. This is of particular concern given Hikvision's growth in cloud services / Ezviz. What will Hikvision do to ensure that the Party does not get access to cameras inside American and other countries' homes?

Hikvision Refuses Comment

Unfortunately, despite IPVM providing 9 days advance notice of this article, Hikvision refused any comment.

Hikvision could help itself greatly if they could somehow explain away this relationship. On the other hand, Chinese citizens who publicly criticize the Party, do so at their own risk of jail or death, so even if they commented, they would have to be careful not to offend or undermine the Party.

Outlook

From Hikvision's internal perspective, being promoted to a Communist Party Committee surely is a great honor and will help them secure even more lucrative projects inside of China. But the rest of the world seriously needs to consider the risks of having a Chinese Communist Party controlled organization being their video surveillance provider.

Related

22 reports cite this report:

Glossary / Acronyms for Video Surveillance on Feb 10, 2020
This directory provides definitions and explanations for over 90 common video...
Hikvision Admits Ban To Become Law on Aug 03, 2018
Hikvision has admitted they expect the US government ban to become law as...
Hikvision Chairman Affirms China Communist Party Leadership, Celebrates Marx's Birthday on Jun 06, 2018
At a recent event commemorating Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, Hikvision...
US House Passes Bill Banning Gov Use of Dahua and Hikvision on May 24, 2018
UPDATE August 2018: The bill has now been signed into law. The US House of...
"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...
Chinese Government Hikvision Surveillance System On US Government Network on Jan 18, 2018
Hikvision, the Chinese government-owned manufacturer, has publicly claimed...
Hikvision China Criticizes The WSJ on Nov 15, 2017
Hikvision, through the Chinese government's authoritative news service,...
'Dirty': Hikvision Attacks Genetec on Feb 20, 2017
Hikvision is angry at the growing public awareness that Hikvision is owned by...
China "Unswerving Leadership Over State-Owned Enterprises" Like Hikvision on Oct 18, 2016
The PR agency of the Chinese government declared [link no longer...
Hikvision CEO Admits Hikvision China State-Owned Company on Oct 06, 2016
Hikvision's CEO admitted that Hikvision is a China state-owned company,...
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...
US Embassy Requires Hikvision Cameras on Aug 29, 2016
The US Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan has required only Hikvision cameras in a...
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...
Dahua Fakes Being American on Aug 10, 2016
Robbed from the Hikvision playbook, now Dahua takes it turn. Dahua, China's...
US Government Entities Hard Spec Hikvision on May 26, 2016
The US and Chinese governments are working together. Now, US government...
Hikvision Rejects Responsibility for Hacked Hikvision Cameras on May 10, 2016
After a massive number of Hikvision cameras were hacked, Hikvision has added...
Hikvision Exec Is PRC Ministry of Public Security (MPS) Leader on Apr 27, 2016
An NVIDIA presentation shows a Hikvision executive is simultaneously a leader...
Hikvision President Buys ~$100 Million USD Hikvision Stock on Mar 03, 2016
Hikvision's President is proving to be a loyal communist party...
Ingram Micro's New Chinese Government Ownership on Feb 23, 2016
Ingram Micro is fighting back. Many have raised concerns about its agreement...
Americans Reject Chinese and US Government Cloud Video Recording on Feb 17, 2016
Americans overwhelmingly rejected both Chinese and US government owned cloud...
Hikvision Launches American Enterprise Expansion on Jan 22, 2016
Hikvision has done well becoming the most common camera choice for American...
Hikvision And The Chinese Government on Dec 07, 2015
Here are the facts about Hikvision's China government ownership. #1 Fact -...
Comments (88) : Members only. Login. or Join.
Loading Related Reports