Undercover Investigation Into Hikvision

By: John Honovich, Published on Oct 03, 2016

An undercover investigation into Hikvision's HQ was conducted by a leading UK newspaper, the Daily Mail, revealing how Hikvision's video surveillance systems "spies on its own people to root out dissidents."

Key quotes include:

  • "Far from being the independently run business it claims to be in its customer-friendly marketing, Hikvision is controlled by China's ruling Communist Party."
  • "Hikvision is central to the government's Orwellian programme to spy on its 1.3 billion citizens, and is inextricably linked to the totalitarian crackdown on those considered 'enemies of the state'."
  • "Officials candidly told us their cameras in cities across China are controlled by the government which used them to track wanted people on a vast database of 'bad guys'."

Hikvision told the Daily Mail's undercover reporters that they domestically use vehicle, face and gait analysis allowing tracking enemies of the state across large scales.

For those in the West, this may sound confusing since Hikvision is best known for selling budget cameras and recorders. However, Hikvision inside of China is different. As the China government owned video surveillance manufacturer, they are the #1 CCTV provider to the Chinese government for their large scale city wide / Skynet systems.

Hikvision's partnership with Nvidia is key to driving this.

Below is a video from the simultaneous Hikvision VP and senior Chinese government official leading the effort for advanced analytics within China:

The combination of more advanced technology used inside of China and the China government's access to huge numbers of cameras (hundreds of thousands to millions in any sizable city) allows them tracking impossible in the US where directly government controlled surveillance systems tend to be small (with thousands to few tens of thousands in most US cities at most) and concerns about personal rights are much higher.

Increasing Attention on Hikvision's Government Control and Use

This is the third mainstream news report on Hikvision in the past month, adding to the Times Investigation into Hikvision and the Asian Nikkei Journal's.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

While some subscribe to the 'all press is good press' mantra, this is certainly a net negative to Hikvision because, at best, it is a distraction from their goal of gaining market share overseas; at worst, it is a reason to not do business with Hikvision.

Believe It?

Vote - Good, Bad or Indifferent?

3 reports cite this report:

The Race To The Bottom Is Over on Nov 28, 2017
The race to the bottom in video surveillance is over. After 3 years of aggressive price cuts and heavy sales and marketing expenditures, the...
'Dirty': Hikvision Attacks Genetec on Feb 20, 2017
Hikvision is angry at the growing public awareness that Hikvision is owned by the Chinese government. They took aim at Genetec,...
Genetec Expels Hikvision on Nov 08, 2016
Genetec has removed support for Hikvision devices, deeming them 'untrustworthy', citing customer concerns about Chinese government ownership /...
Comments (85) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on China

Hikvision CEO Alleged Illegal Activities Investigated on Dec 13, 2019
Hikvision's CEO Hu Yangzhong is under investigation for suspected illegal activities, according to the PRC's securities regulator. This has become...
Acquisitions - Winners and Losers on Dec 10, 2019
Most major manufacturers have been acquired over the last decade. But which have been good deals or not? In this report, we analyze the...
IP Camera Installability Shootout 2019 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Dec 09, 2019
What are the best and worst cameras to install? Which manufacturers make it the hardest or easiest to install their cameras? We tested 35 total...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Dec 02, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...
China Uyghur Analytic Projects Require Intel And NVIDIA, Intel Condemns, NVIDIA Silent on Dec 02, 2019
At least 8 PRC China police projects require NVIDIA and Intel chips to power their Uyghur-detecting analytics, according to procurement documents...
Directory of Access Reader Manufacturers on Nov 27, 2019
Credential Readers are one of the most visible and noticeable parts of access systems, but installers often stick with only the brand they always...
China Government Spreads Uyghur Analytics Across China on Nov 25, 2019
IPVM has found 12 recent government projects across China (PRC) that require Uyghur analytics and a general government guideline requiring such...
ISC East 2019 Show Report on Nov 21, 2019
IPVM has finished in New York City covering both days of the ISC East 2019 show. Here is a 6+ minute general walkthrough: Inside this report,...
The Cowardly, Greedy "Leaders" of Video Surveillance - SIA on Nov 19, 2019
The video surveillance industry suffers from cowardly, greedy 'leaders' focused on maximizing easy money while undermining public trust. The...
Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2019 on Nov 18, 2019
2019 has been an explosive year for video surveillance, with the world's two largest manufacturers, Dahua and Hikvision, being sanctioned for human...

Most Recent Industry Reports

ADT CEO Not Worried About DIY: "2 Discrete Markets" on Dec 13, 2019
ADT's CEO is not worried about DIY, characterizing DIY and ADT's DIFY as "2 discrete markets" at the Imperial Capital Security Investor's...
Hikvision CEO Alleged Illegal Activities Investigated on Dec 13, 2019
Hikvision's CEO Hu Yangzhong is under investigation for suspected illegal activities, according to the PRC's securities regulator. This has become...
Video Surveillance 101 Course Opened on Dec 12, 2019
IPVM is adding a Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the most important terms,...
Verkada Notification Outage on Dec 12, 2019
Verkada is suffering an event notification outage and analytic search failures. Inside, we examine what the issues are, what Verkada told IPVM...
Hikvision DS 2nd Gen Intercom Tested on Dec 12, 2019
With its newest IP intercom, Hikvision proclaims users can 'get full control over an entrance' regardless of where it is installed, home or office...
Honeywell 30 Series Cameras Tested Vs Dahua and Hikvision on Dec 11, 2019
Honeywell has infamously OEMed Dahua and Hikvision for years, but now they have introduced an NDAA-compliant line, the 30 Series, claiming "lower...
"Good Market, Bad Business Models" - Residential Security on Dec 11, 2019
Industry banker John Mack, at his company's annual event, took aim squarely at the problems in the residential security...
IP Camera Browser Support: Who's Broken / Who Works on Dec 10, 2019
For many years, IP cameras depended on ActiveX control, whose security flaws have been known for more than a decade. The good news is that this is...
Acquisitions - Winners and Losers on Dec 10, 2019
Most major manufacturers have been acquired over the last decade. But which have been good deals or not? In this report, we analyze the...
IP Camera Installability Shootout 2019 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Dec 09, 2019
What are the best and worst cameras to install? Which manufacturers make it the hardest or easiest to install their cameras? We tested 35 total...