At a recent event commemorating Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, Hikvision Chairman Chen Zongnian stressed the importance of strictly adhering to the Chinese Communist Party:
"[Hikvision] must conscientiously implement the party’s line and principles and policies, ensure that the direction is not deviated, that the top level should strengthen strategic leadership, do a good job of coordination and supervision, and strengthen the party organization."
A ‘Special’ Lesson
The remarks were made on June 2, 2018 when Chen gave a speech at a “special Party lesson” in the city of Hangzhou at CETHIK, Hikvision's parent company and controlling shareholder, set up by the Chinese government to run Hikvision. Chen is simultaneously the Chairman of CETHIK and Hikvision.
During the event, which was attended by over 90 people and which was summarized in a CETHIK news release, Chen spoke about applying unspecified “Marxist principles” to develop Hikvision.
But in a rather capitalist twist, Chen also said that Hikvision needed to work hard to achieve its longtime goal of attaining annual revenue of 100 billion yuan, or ~$15 billion USD. Last year Hikvision's revenue was over $6.5 billion. At its recent growth rate of ~30%, Hikvision would attain that in 3 to 4 years. On the other hand, $15 billion is ~75% of the total global video surveillance market so Hikvision is challenged by the sheer addressable market.
Why China Reveres Marx (Officially)
While China’s economy has been thoroughly capitalist for decades, China is a one-party state where the Communist Party remains in full control of the government.
As part of a drive to rejuvenate China’s values, President Xi Jinping has pushed for greater recognition of historically influential figures like Marx and Mao. That’s why Marx’s 200th birthday was widely celebrated by Chinese state media and government agencies.
It’s thus unsurprising that a main representative of Hikvision, a state-controlled company, would join the celebrations as well.
Indeed, CETHIK reported that Chen Zongnian’s remarks “conveyed the spirit” of Xi Jinping’s own speech commemorating Marx’s birthday in which Xi stated that Marxism was “totally correct” for China.
Hikvision And The Communist Party
Hikvision's association with the Chinese Communist Party is not new. For example, see our 2016 report Hikvision and the China Communist Party, which showcased the inaugural meeting of Hikvision’s own Communist Party committee in which Chen declared his allegiance to the Party and urged others to “comply with Party discipline.”