Longse Rips Off Hikvision

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Oct 19, 2016

Longse is on the attack, and now they are targeting Hikvision.

Evidently not content just to rip off Milestone and Video Insight, Longse has now added Hikvision to their hit list.

They are building a pretty powerful offering off the back of their competitors. Inside, we examine the details of what Longse is doing, how this helps them competitively and why this is unethical.

Bragging Longse

Longse is excited to announce their new features, including a 'unique' web interface, pay close attention to the screenshots they include below:

Not only is Longse touting that 'unique' interface, they have added in Hikvision's 'private' protocol claiming deep integration:

UI Theft

The following images show examples from a Hikvision camera (left) and a recent (October 2016) Longse camera (right):

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Login page is nearly identical, other than Hikvision logo removed:

Live view is very similar, Longse has replaced "Hikvision" logo with an image that just says "IPCamera":

The configuration mode shows the same icons and tree as Hikvision, but has slightly different layout and wording in individual areas:

The Longse camera has no Longse branding anywhere in the UI, in fact the copyright claim (ironic) is to "HS", most likely an abbreviation for HeroSpeed, the brand Longse's VMS uses. To users of Hikvision cameras, the Longse UI will seem familiar, which surely was Longse's intention.

Longse Cameras Mimic Hikvision NVR Protocol

We tested Longse's claim of Hikvision NVR support and found that it worked as claimed. Our Longse camera connected to the Hikvision NVR on the first try, as shown below:

Not Endorsed By Hikvision

According to sources close to the company, Hikvision has not authorized Longse's use of their UI elements or NVR protocol. While Hikvision does publish various SDK's for their products, what Longse has done does not utilize standard SDKs, and is not a supported application.

Buyers of Longse product should be aware that Hikvision may change the auto-discovery protocol to block Longse cameras in the future, though they could still connect via ONVIF.

No Response From Longse

We emailed the owner of Longse (Jim Quan, qsj@qq.com) multiple times asking for comment but did not receive any response.

Damaging To Hikvision

Longse's actions stand to negatively impact Hikvision, potentially significantly given Longse's increasing scale. If the cameras are close to Hikvision's, users will be attracted to Longse's lower prices (albeit with much less support, product availability, brand, etc.). If the cameras do not live up to expectations, users unfamiliar with Hikvision may believe that connectivity issues with NVR's, or general reliability issues are the fault of the Hikvision NVR or Hikvision protocol.

With Longse's law breaking and industry leading spam campaign plus ripping off Hikvision, Milestone and Video Insight, they now offer a very compelling but highly unethical solution.

5 reports cite this report:

Longse USA Profile on Nov 30, 2018
In September 2017, Longse bought and opened their USA office. As one of the largest South China surveillance manufacturers, they have previously...
Law Breaking Longse Enters USA on Nov 22, 2017
Longse has established itself as world class, at least in spamming the industry, ripping off Milestone and Video Insight as well as Hikvision. But...
Longse Wants To Be Your OEM on Apr 18, 2017
Hikvision, Dahua, another China rival is out for you.  The outlaw Guangzhou manufacturer Longse recognizes the growing conflict for Hikvision...
Longse vs Dahua and Hikvision Tested on Nov 16, 2016
For many, even $100 cameras are too expensive. That is where spam king Longse comes in with their relentless offer of ~$20 cameras. In our past...
China Hot For Intelligent Video on Oct 27, 2016
The clear top theme at the 2016 Security China show has been intelligent video. This is a big shift from past years, and China's historical focus...

Comments (55)

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[IPVM note: poster is from Dahua]

#Hilarious

#Hilarious

Longse would rather take their chances with the PRC than steal Dahua's interface.

I thought they were banned?

They're proxying in from the botnet.

Noice!!!

I don't think this is hilarious at all.

We should support Hikvision to fight against what Longse is doing. Longse's act makes things even worse overall for the industry.

I agree it does. They have been unethical for years!!

Related: Longse Spam Innovation

"The obvious problem is that Longse' business is built on spam. And spam is illegal both in China and in the US."

Sums it up right there.

Well, Longse spam campaign, as bad as it is, seems small time compared to what they are doing to Hikvision, VI and Milestone.

At least for VI and Milestone, as foreign companies owned by Japanese conglomerates, it is hard for them to do much to a company that only has operations inside China.

But Hikvision, I don't know. It just strikes me that a China company wronging / picking a fight with the Chinese's government video surveillance division is asking for trouble. I am genuinely curious what Hikvision will do here.

Ripping off GUI's, especially Hikvisions is nothing new. While not this flagrant, the Uniview HDMI GUI is extremely similar to Hikvisions.

But this one here is crazy, they didnt even try to change it up a little. WOW!!

Maybe they are sick and tired of Hikvision getting all the govt funding! They are standing up to their bigger Chinese brothers for being bullied so long!

Eh, it's a little similar at first glance but if you ACTUALLY use it you'll see the differences and improvements. I think the reason companies make their GUI's similar is because the installers don't like to "learn" a new product, so if you make it similar to what they're used to using then they're more likely to use it.

It's not like our industry is on the cutting edge of technology, and it's not like the majority of trunk slammers have college degrees or spare time. The path of least resistance will probably earn more sales in CCTV.

I just wish Longse would stop sending me e-mails...

[Personal note: I am from Dahua.]

There are a handful of us who weren't banned. #NotAConspiracy

In that pic Jim Quan is blatantly ripping off the Fonz, or hitchhiking for a ride from the courthouse.

Hikvision already acquired Fonzie...

Imitation or Innovation?

Stop it. Don't give them more ideas!

Wait, a skin may be the closest thing to Hik's iVMS 5200 we've got in the U.S.

LMFAO!!! So now we have the Chinese ripping off the Chinese. Be Prepared for flagellation.

FYI, I don't know these Dahua dudes. I'm just a Sales Engineer for Dahua OEM products.

Seriously though, is the Chinese Communist Party losing their touch or something? Hell, Hikvision has the full weight of the party to bring down on this BS. If there were any a time where using it would bring no complaints from us, this is EXACTLY that time. Even a totalitarian government is allowed to openly deal with people who steal THEIR intellectual property as blatantly as Longse did. Maybe Hikvision really doesn't work for the Comm... no, wait. Let's not go THAT far!

The worst part is that my mom's Canto too... *facepalm* c'mon homeland, can we NOT try and outpirate each other?! I mean hell, I understand ripping off overpriced women's fashion pieces, but this is preeeetty low. Bolder than some cockroaches that's for sure. That's like staring the guy with the can of Raid in the eyes saying, "I dare you!" I mean if you were going to rip off something, might as well rip off the high end and steal the interface off that new Meraki!

On the one hand, Longse's antics are bad for all of us because more race to the bottom crap. On the other, it's nice to see Hikvision have a taste of the effects of what it's like having successfully turned our industry into a s***show.

Go Ahead HIKVISION show Longsee what a 5 billion dollar War Chest can do to a rip off artist.....

Go Ahead HIKVISION show Longsee what a 5 billion dollar War Chest can do to a rip off artist.....

China has blocked the image, again :(

Any chance they're just OEMing Hik?

Highly unlikely. For one, when I asked some sources at Hikvision about this they claimed it was not authorized. While it is possible that these sources were not aware of some secret deal done in China between high-ranking members of both companies, I think the odds of that are very low.

The Longse and Hikvision cameras that I have seen in person have very few physical similarities. The cases are different, the LEDs are different, the mounting brackets are different, the cable assemblies are different, the internal PCBs are different.

Often when products like these are OEM'd the goal is to reuse as much as possible to save costs. If Longse was OEMing from Hikvision, they would have had to redesign everything, and then somehow manage to sell their product even cheaper than the Hikvision one after incurring these costs. Again, not an impossible scenario, but not very realistic.

I have spoken with people who are familiar with many of the Chinese suppliers, and have been told that source code often makes its way from company to company, lots of things are reused and adapted. I doubt Longse has any official relationship with Hik, but I would not bet against them having some Hikvision firmware source.

...but I would not bet against them having some Hikvision firmware source.

Neither would I. The fact that the "private protocol" works indicates that it is Hik code underneath.

Also, doesn't Hik offer rebranding of its utilities, possibly without pre-authorization, (when using Hik cameras, of course).

Maybe Longse has adapted its own cameras to run rebranded hik OEM firmware distributions.

so they may be OEMing the software without the hardware.

Chinese companies seem a little lax when it cones to IP, is it possible Hik doesn't care enough to do anything, or that they work out an agreement ex post facto?

Neither would I. The fact that the "private protocol" works indicates that it is Hik code underneath.

I have not looked at the Hikvision protocol on the wire. It could be some very complex hashed challenge-response code, or it could be some extremely simple plain-text protocol that is trivial to reverse engineer and duplicate. Just because Longse cameras can spoof a Hikvision camera to a Hikvision NVR does not mean Hikvision in any way provided code, help, authorization, etc. in this.

so they may be OEMing the software without the hardware.

Maybe, but it is unlikely that Hikvision would want to help a company who is a direct competitor selling products at even lower prices then their own.

Given Longse's previous use of Milestone and Video Insight elements, I think it is more likely they have done this too without specific authorization from Hikvision.

Just because Longse cameras can spoof a Hikvision camera to a Hikvision NVR does not mean Hikvision in any way provided code, help, authorization, etc. in this.

IMHO, its a bit more than spoofing, though. Longse says

Completely connect HIKVISION private protocol NVR, including audio, video compatibility & alarm I/O, motion detection.

If Longse got all this working, on their own (esp without using the authorized SDK), Hik should hire the engineers when it destroys the company.

Hikvision private prosocial is used in many Chinese IP solutions, it does not in anyway represent having the low level code, this would be pretty much not be likely. Web interface html/js parts are easy to copy, just take look at website clone tools, but takes a bit of time to replicate the identical function parameters to match your system. And one comment about Chinese copying Chinese, you know they been doing this for well at least 2,000years! no matter what industry to make one RMB profit it will be copied! ANYTHING goes with a lawless mind set.

Hikvision private prosocial is used in many Chinese IP solutions...

I agree, Huisun is one that has been using it for years.

So why doesn't Hik do anything? Too hard or doesn't care?

No honour amongst thieves?

We know it's easier to copy than create. Samsung know this well.

Hikvision private prosocial is used in many Chinese IP solutions, it does not in anyway represent having the low level code, this would be pretty much not be likely.

So what do you think happened here, Herospeed took all the html and javascript from Hik and then built their own independent implementation of Hik's SADP, complete with motion detection and alarm io, etc?

So they are incredible, honest back-end programmers and crappy, theiving front-end programmers?

Boss: We need a new web interface that's like Hikvision.

Engineer: Sure Boss, this can be done, it'll take 6months

Boss: Sure you have 6 week.

Engineer: No problem.

Programmer1: You are f..ing kidding

Engineer: We will work weekends to do it. I'll order in the Red Bull

Programmer2: What about Dahua interface, or Sony, or Samsung, or Axis

Engineer: Boss said Hikvision follow orders or it's the firing squad for you.

Programmer1&2: We have a plan

Engineer: Great, I'll go and buy some Hikvision cameras

Boss: How is it going?

Engineer: Great we will have ready in 6 days.

Boss: I hope you don't just rip off Hikvisoin they are nice guys.

Engineer: I'm writing my obituary.

Sales Team: Hay guys new interface looks great, customers will be happy.

Boss: At least guys we didn't copy XiongMai and be a DDos host!

Sales Team: what's DDos this a new operating system for someone with a stutter.

Boss: Yes you don't have a VPN and read the global news.

Engineer: XiongMai we use to work there, I have their source code.

Boss: I didn't hear that.

Programmer: What don't people use ThreadX on IPC so they could have edge recording instantly, and then have a power up measured in ms not seconds!

Boss: What's ThreadX some new weaving pattern design.

Engineer: No boss it's a state of art OS, but there is a one off license fee

Boss: No way am I paying for software.

Customer1: Hay we have a question, you use Linux kernel, so assume you have many open source libraries used, but you don't declare them.

Sales: Open source in china we call it free to do anything, so we never say what we use, it's our company secret technologe

Customer1: Your mean Technology. no e There is a y on the end.

Sales: That's what I said technologe

Sales: Boss we have a good idea

Boss: Really, but most ideas come from me.

Sales: Boss we need to give a name to our technology

Boss: I already thought this

Sales: We want to use a simple Japanese word.

Boss: sounds interesting, what you have in mind.

Sales: Mirai (未来) it's Japanese for "The Future"

Boss: Didn't they use this in a Car

Sales: Yes but its great. we can use as our new slogan

Boss: Put marketing onto it.

Marleting: This write itself. Our Camera technology come with Mirai inside, making them ready for the Futre. Mirai inside has to be a winner.

Boss: I'm going online now to Amazon to spend my profits! some reason the site is down!! oh well. I'll twitter to my friend and ask them.

Boss: Dam these VPN's. I really need to learn to use shadowsocks.

And one comment about Chinese copying Chinese, you know they been doing this for well at least 2,000years! no matter what industry to make one RMB profit it will be copied! ANYTHING goes with a lawless mind set.

You dont really know the history with this bias.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon - Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword :)

Wrong definition, the appropriate reference is Socialism With Chinese Characteristics.

I get you are joking with the 'all property is publicly owned', and I grant a level of cleverness to it, but that's not actually what China is.

[Note: Poster is Vivotek Distributor]

I wonder why the IPVM of so much emphasis to Chinese manufacturers.
price, price, price ... and the quality ??
Why not talk over Vivotek, Avilign, Sony, Axis, Bosch.

We put 'emphasis' on Chinese manufacturers because they are gaining more share than any other company in the video surveillance market. That makes them of high interest to our readers.

Btw, we tested Vivotek 12MP IR Multi-Imager Camera recently, we tested Bosch First Starlight 1080p Camera last week, and we cover Axis and Avigilon multiple times each month. I think you are the first person to complain we don't cover Axis enough :)

We are happy to report on anyone, we just need to see what products / development / angle will be of interest to our readers. Feel free to 'pitch' us here.

I believe you do not understand my opinion.
Did not say that you do not take materials to other manufacturers (Axis as an example = many materials).
He said you guys are giving much emphasis to the Chinese, and see it as a search by price and not by quality.
We see unfair competition, a direct sale to the final consumer by them, a huge RMA and very serious problems of security protocols.

Am I right?

Guilherme.

We see unfair competition

And we have criticized Hikvision here repeatedly about government funding, etc. e.g., Hikvision Declares No Subsidies But Financials Show $189 Million Subsidies

a direct sale to the final consumer by them

And we have criticized them here as well, most recently Lead Hikvision Ezviz Direct-to-Customer Sales

a huge RMA

That we have not seen. We do extensive integrator surveys and RMA reports for Hikvision have been quite low.

very serious problems of security protocols

And we have criticized them here, e.g. Hacked Dahua Cameras Drive Massive Cyber Attack

What do you want us to cover? Give me a real pitch. Don't say 'Vivotek', explain what specific product / angle etc. to cover.

I did not understand the Vivotek?
We distribute yes Vivotek, as well as Panasonic, Genetec ..... and other manufacturers.
So I do not understand why you mentioned the Vivotek, in my opinion an excellent product.

I really like the materials of IPVM, and forums are a good way to show how we see the market (in my case as a distributor).

Thank you.

Guilherme,

What do you want us to do? You say cover more other products, right? What specifically should we cover? What aspects of those products or companies?

I do not expect anything my friend, just expressed my opinion.
I am a big fan of IPVM, and I would ask for more materials on Panasonic, Vivotek, Genetec and ISS if possible.

E como se diz aqui no Brasil (um grande abraço a todos amigos da IPVM).

Guilherme.

The four companies you've mentioned are mature companies with business ethics. The Chinese companies are disrupting the industry in a very negative way.

Negative way? How? Please leave politics and government bank loans for another day.

Negative way?

Have you ever been disrupted in a positive way?

Karma is a bitch...

So Chinese manufacturers ripping off Chinese state-owned manufacturers , how unethical!!??.

How about Chinese ripping off other country's ? Acceptable !!??

Examples

WU Mart - Wal Mart

OFC - KFC

Harry Potter & the leopard walk up to the dragon

Bucksstar - Starbucks

Sunbucks - Starbucks

Star Fucks !!! - Starbucks

Apple - Apple, yes even a fully kitted store in China.

Pizza Huh - Pizza Hut

Iphone - Hiphone

Rolls Royce - look alike car

Range Rover - Land wind

MacDonald’s - MacMacDonalds

Wii - WiWi

Playstation - ployStation

Puma - Numa and all the other sports clothes brands

and thousands more!!

MacDonald’s - MacMacDonalds

Coming to America! - Watch out Donald Trump

The Hikvision protocol by Longse does not automatically set IP address when connected to NVR POE port but you can use SADP or Longses own tools to change it. At half the price and quality/reliability as good as Hik , its on to a winner.

Longse is the 3rd largest manufacturer of CCTV in CH and a lot has changed - no spamming or email to public. Hikvision sells direct to end users through high street stores and there are over 36,ooo items on UK ebay - all we get is " my customers can buy it cheaper on ebay" The first time we bought from Longse was in 2010 and but didn’t use then again until 3 years ago. With a returns rate less than 0.3% , its good as Hik but half the price.

Hikvision make OEM for many other companies but Hik hates it if they are selling more than branded ones, they even threaten companies that sell the OEM’s on .

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Why I Choose Longse Over Hikvision

I'm a bit old to this conversation. I've walked through the Longse factory near Guangzhou (Southern China) and I saw a lot of interesting brands loaded up in the staging area of their warehouse.

A lot of the success of these small(er) players is going to be a result of standardizations of ONVIF and/or the acceptance of HDCCTV in the enterprise world. I don't see either happening anytime soon, so these brands will continue to be the key to the "trunk slammers making a buck selling against the Costco packages. But...

I have not just spoken to, but consulted personally with Mr. Hu of HIKVISION. I have worked directly with Longse and the owners of RDS (think Costco and Sam's Club packaging, FLIR). I have a lot of influence in and with these organizations. They want this market and are willing to pay desperately to get it.

The industry is in trouble. Reps companies are closing left and right, the Pelco's and Arecont's (US manufacturing) are having a hard time maintaining a value proposition worth paying the premium. HDCCTV is a valid threat and with the backing of the Chinese government, guys like HIK will continue to leverage their deep pockets to penetrate the market.

If HIK came out with a premium brand that was truly "made in the USA," would this change the perception? Dahua? Same deal as Japan has made with Toyota and Honda...Could the US market accept product ultimately controlled by foreigners, but built here in the US? Would the government and the Integrators say this is good enough? This is more of a prediction more than a question and I believe this is what is coming...

Americans given jobs by the Chinese today sounds as crazy as it may have 60 years ago to have Toyota and Honda building cars in the USA. I believe we are nearing this point with China and need to decide if we are ok with a global economy. Are we going to continue to fight it? I haven't taken either side. I'm simply intrigued with the situation...Especially since I'm sitting in an area where I can be influential to either direction.

The biggest question: Do we hope that continued globalization does not hit us because we are America and are big enough to stop it, or do we accept it now, and leverage it before someone else does? Do we think that with a new government and President, we will continue our fight against this globalization and rise again as a manufacturing powerhouse? I'm not sold either way...

Too much real talk for a Friday night. Thanks John H for this platform.

I have not just spoken to, but consulted personally with Mr. Hu of HIKVISION. I have worked directly with Longse...

So what does Mr. Hu think of Mr. Quan blatantly copying his interface?

At least they didn't name it Hokvision :P http://hokvs.com/en/

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