Hikvision Trumpets Global Dominance

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 26, 2013

The surveillance industry is defined by its deep fragmentation, with hundreds, if not thousands of manufacturers, but no single dominant force. But now, Chinese mega-manufacturer Hikvision is trumpeting its 'continual dominance', listing its position in 10 categories. In this note, we break down these and explain what is driving Hikvision and what it means to the rest of the industry.

The $11 Billion Company

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Hikvision ******** - **** ** ***?

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Comments (12)

I just bought 6 3mp cameras and an 8 channel DVR. I'll post my thoughts after I review it. First impression is that $199 per 3mp, day/night ir camera even if average is better then Axis.

Josh, looking forward to it. Both Hikvision and Dahua are ramping up sales of super low cost MP internationally. While we have done tests of Hikvision before, we are going to release our first Dahua test next month.

The information I'm hearing within China about HikVision's quality is less impressive than one might expect. In fact lately we're seeing RFQ's coming from China that call for UL, specifically to eliminate low-quality Chinese manufacturers from the bidding, or else to force those manufacturers to improve their product quality.

It's also important to note that being succesful within China is largely an incestuous process, involving tight relationships with government officials, payoffs and kickbacks. It's well understood in most industries that in order to penetrate the Chinese market you must adapt to this environment.

Regardless, being successful to a captive audience in your rather large home country does not give you "Global dominance"

So Hikvision has a UL listing or no?

I don't believe so, but I cannot confirm that right now. Certainly, 99.9% of Chinese brands do not go through UL.

Had a distributor one time talk me into trying the Hikvision line for a small 10 camera system. While the price was good, the install time took three times as long thereby negating any savings. That was the last time we used Hikvision, also because of the non-UL listing, we try not to take chances with inspectors here in the greater Puget Sound area.

[IPVM Editor Note: Poster is from Hikvision]

Most, if not all, Hikvision Products are UL/cUL listed.

Bob, then this must only apply to their products they sell outside of China, because I've heard that their products sold within the region are not UL listed.

But thank you for confirming that at least some of HikVision's cameras are UL.

It is my understanding the Hikvision is partially owned by the Chinese government. Surely this would skew the figures even more for their in-country sales?

I have had some exposure to Hikvision as a distributor and found the product adequate for small installations where bandwidth and storage aren't critical. Image quality doesn't compare to Axis or Sony nor does bandwith and file size. The Hik NVR's also had issues where by the recording resolution reduced as more cameras were added. I'm unsure whether this has been recitified recently.

Hikvisions edge is purely in its price point, certainly not in quality or features.

Andy, I believe a lot of the big China companies have deep government connections, including significant shares held by government owned banks (I recall this being the case going through Hikvision IPO docs).

Yes, that connection likely helps greatly.

That said, the product has gotten better. The 2011-2012 offerings are drastically better than the terrible IP offerings from before then. That does not mean it's better than Axis or Sony, it's just much closer now.

Andy- the new NVRs do not have that issue any more. Each unit has a total input bandwidth that can be flexibly applied to each IP camera. Cameras up to 5MP are supported. So with total input bandwidth, each camera has independent resolution, frame rate and image quality setting.

Dear John - First I want to thank you for your good website and some fantastic test. I would like if you could make a test with vandal domes 1080P and inclute a wide range of products, so we are able to understand how big the differance is between the manufactures . Please inclute Hikvision DS-2CD7255F-EIZ, Dahua IPC-HDBW3202 and other top models from other manufactures. Thanks

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