Undercover Investigation Into Hikvision

Author: 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 Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

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 Admits USA Sales Falling on Apr 22, 2019
Hikvision, in a new Chinese financial filing, has admitted that its USA sales are now falling. Less than a year after the US government passed a...
Hikvision Conducts Military Training For New Employees on Apr 04, 2019
Hikvision's new employees recently completed a boot camp where they wore Chinese army uniforms and were trained by former army personnel, as shown...
How China's Pay By Facial Recognition Works on Apr 02, 2019
Many social media posts have variously celebrated or warned about the growing use of facial recognition for payments in China. An example of one...
Avigilon USA Factory Visit Report on Apr 01, 2019
In a building that looks more like corporate offices than a 'factory' and just down the road from suburban housing developments is Avigilon's USA...
Dahua Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 01, 2019
Dahua favorability declined, in IPVM's 2019 integrator favorability series, driven by their backdoors, resulting in mass hacking and US government...
Goldman and Fidelity Funds Sell Off Hikvision, Dahua Stock Over Xinjiang on Mar 29, 2019
Major US funds run by financial giants such as Fidelity and Goldman Sachs have sold their equity stakes in Hikvision and Dahua "as scrutiny...
9 UK MPs Call Out Hikvision Over Human Rights Violations on Mar 26, 2019
A group of nine MPs in the UK has released a letter calling out Hikvision for its surveillance deals in Xinjiang and Tibet, alleging Hikvision...
Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...
Hikvision Chairman Warns Of AI New Entrants Victimizing Customers on Mar 12, 2019
Hikvision chairman Chen Zongnian has warned that customers will become “victims” of AI hype from new industry entrants, even saying such newcomers...
Congressional Letter Calls Out US Companies Supporting Dahua and Hikvision on Mar 11, 2019
A bipartisan Congressional Letter has called out US companies that 'support' or have 'commercial ties' to Hikvision and Dahua and how they are...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Admits USA Sales Falling on Apr 22, 2019
Hikvision, in a new Chinese financial filing, has admitted that its USA sales are now falling. Less than a year after the US government passed a...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...
H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
Register for the Spring Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact