Hikvision Pays For Trade Mag Editors China TripBy: John Honovich, Published on Oct 29, 2015
Hikvision paid for a group of 10 North American trade magazine 'editors' trip to Hikvision's China headquarters, showing the company's growing sophistication and the trade press' continued flouting of journalistic ethics.
Here is an image from the trip of the various editors assembled, smiling:
Hikvision explains the trip "as a part of the introduction to the company and its products and technology."
Despite the free trip, not all of the editors was satisfied. Ralph Jensen, a self-admitted master of gifts and trips from manufacturers, complained about his free Hikvision trip:
In fairness to Hikvision, it appears that they only paid for coach tickets.
Journalistic ethics and common sense dictate to not take such free trips and gifts, as it skews what is covered (based on who is paying) and how the material is covered (given the gift). As the Society of Professional Journalist's ethics code declares: "Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment"
Hikvision Western Playbook
Unfortunately, such free trips are nothing new for Western manufacturers. Hikvision is simply copying long-standing practices. Indeed, given the meager influence and low actual readership for publications like Jensen's, the impact is likely to be minimal. On the other hand, with Hikvision doing more than $3 billion revenue this year (75% from China), spending tens of thousands on such trips is inconsequential.
The more critical lesson here is to appreciate how aggressively Hikvision is going to market in North America. We talk to Western manufacturers execs who continue to dismiss Hikvision as nothing more than a low-cost, low-quality 'Chinese' play. To the contrary, trips like this, hundreds of thousands spent on ASIS parties, and their massive overall marketing spend show that Hikvision is executing excellently an old-school Western campaign. Coupled with such low product prices, this should scare any sensible Western competitor.
IPVM In China / No Vendor Payments
Ethan Ace, from IPVM, is in China right now. IPVM paid for all expenses for Ethan, as we always do for trips, and our trip is completely unrelated to the trade mags. Ethan is meeting with numerous Chinese companies including Hikvision's largest domestic rivals, Dahua and Uniview.