In a surprising and globally covered move, Hikvision CEO Hu Yangzhong and Vice-Chairman Gong Hongjia are being investigated by China's securities regulator for "suspected information disclosure violations", Hikvision disclosed in a brief letter to investors.
This move was quickly reported around the world, with few details, ranging from:
Indeed, even PRC state-media Global Times covered it:
No one has publicly made clear how serious this 'suspicion of illegal information disclosure' is.
However, one thing not being reported by global media is the importance of Hu Yangzhong or "Mr. Hu" as he is reverentially referred to by Hikvision employees who have spoken to us over the years.
The move is surprising given that state-controlled Hikvision has extensive PRC government connections and is currently a high-profile target of US government human rights sanctions.
While Hikvision (the company) is distancing itself, Hu Yangzhong has long played a central role leading the firm, meaning this could have a significant impact regardless. In this note, we examine this investigation, including:
- Few Official Details/Undisclosed Bonus Allegations
- Hikvision Response: Individuals, Not Company, Under Investigation
- Impact is Clear
- Terrible Timing for Hikvision
- Political Factors at Play?
- Legal Consequences
- Investigation Widely Reported in West and PRC
- Hikvision Stock Impact
- Unwelcome Development in Home Market