Remove Dahua and Hikvision Gov Installs Required By US House Bill Ban

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 06, 2018

The final released US House Bill HR 5515 verifies that it not only prohibits the purchasing of Dahua and Hikvision products, it requires removing existing Dahua and Hikvision government systems.

In particular, the bill clearly bans both the purchasing and use of this equipment:

Dahua and Hikvision are now listed side by side with telecommunications suppliers Huawei and ZTE:

If this bill becomes law, the best case scenario for Dahua and Hikvision users is a 2-year waiver where they would need to submit a plan about how they will 'eliminate' them from their systems:

Impact on US Government Video Surveillance Use of Dahua and Hikvision

While Dahua branded usage is quite low, Hikvision is, at least moderate. Driven by Hikvision's super low prices and industry-leading sales and marketing spending, some government agencies looking to save money on commercial gear have been increasing Hikvision specification, e.g.:

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  • Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho had 189 Hikvision cameras installed across four dorm buildings in an $88,290 deal in 2016. (Mountain Home AFB Award Contract.)
  • Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado had an unknown number of Hikvision cameras installed across three dorms in a $111,999 deal in 2016. (Peterson AFB Award Contract.)
  • The US Embassy in Ukraine issued an order for 40 Hikvision cameras last year. The US Embassy in Guatemala also issued an order for 28 cameras “similar or equal to” specific Hikvision models in 2015. (US Embassy Ukraine Specifies Hikvision.)
  • The US Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina put out an order this January for a system with 3 Hikvision cameras and a recorder. (US Marine Base Hard Specs Hikvision.)

A number of Hikvision orders have been canceled and installs removed as well.

OEM Impact

Dahua and Hikvision OEM to scores of Western companies (see Dahua OEM Directory and Hikvision OEM Directory) looking for cheap products, including big names like American Dynamics (Tyco / JCI), (former) FLIR, Honeywell, UTC / Interlogix, ADI / W-Box, etc. While IPVM has not investigated Dahua and Hikvision OEM use by the US government, simply given some of the big names involved, there is certainly, minimally 1,000s of these products deployed in US government facilities, especially since knowledge of Dahua and Hikvision's risks and OEMing have only become widespread in the past few years.

A Benefit to The Video Surveillance Industry

This could be a benefit overall to the video surveillance industry, as lower-end and vulnerable Dahua and Hikvision equipment are replaced by newer, better, more secure non-Chinese products.

Hikvision Partner Still Bullish

However, one Hikvision partner, just this week, reaffirmed his commitment to Hikvision and his customer's satisfaction, declaring:

What do I do right now...try my best to keep up with all of the fiscal end of year orders for Hikvision IP video systems. No one has ceased buying anything. They ask questions, I give them facts, they talk about IPVM, I give them facts, they look at the cameras, the systems and they realize they have excellent equipment, installed in the correct manner, build on solid networks and they say thank you at the end of the day. No one wants to remove anything, all they want is more. Hik Central has sold well, Blazer Pro is taking off, and the specialty products are doing very well. So everyone sticking their nose up good for you, but you better hope you are not competing with me..... Political Climate of course I am aware President Trump is playing a strategy, he is a master at that game. I don't think the end game will look anything like the first inning. I will stand with the people that have supported me well. [Emphasis Added]

Hikvision Double Banned

However, the risk of having to remove products is high. In particular, Hikvision is double covered by the bill, both by name and under the category of any company owned or 'controlled' by the Chinese government:

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