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?

2 reports cite this report:

'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 (86): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on China

'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,...
China Huawei Gives France Free City Surveillance on Feb 16, 2017
China is using its financial resources again, this time in France, just a month after the Chinese government funded a $100 million security /...
Hikvision Pledges 'Never' 'Backdoors' on Jan 27, 2017
With criticisms rising, Hikvision has gone on the record publicly declaring: Hikvision never has, does or would intentionally contribute to...
Amazon Sales of Hikvision China Cameras on Jan 12, 2017
Hikvision has become widely available in the US, including on popular retail outlets like Amazon, with over 2,600 results: 4MP Hikvision outdoor...
Hikvision New R&D Base To Create 10,000+ Jobs, Says Chinese Government on Jan 10, 2017
Hikvision has secured a major new China government partnership.  In this note, we examine the official statement from the Chinese government and...
How Axis Can Beat Hikvision on Jan 09, 2017
Hikvision has rocked the industry globally, bullying former video surveillance revenue leader Axis even in the Western world. What can Axis...
Hikvision Sales and Support Conflict Over Discontinuation on Dec 28, 2016
Numerous Hikvision technical support employees have confirmed that the iVMS-4500 will be discontinued. Some Hikvision sales people say this is...
China Government Funds $100 Million South American Security / Surveillance Project on Dec 27, 2016
Chinese manufacturers stand to benefit from new funding that the Chinese government is giving to a South American country for a $100+ million...
The Future of Video Surveillance Distribution on Dec 22, 2016
40+ video surveillance distributors around the world told us what they see as the present and future of distribution. The key positive: solutions....
Hikvision False 'Made In USA', Sold to US Government on Dec 20, 2016
A China State Owned Company, Hikvision products are listed as "Made In United States of America" and for sale to US government agencies, despite...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Honeywell Sues Alarm.com For Violating Anti-Trust Laws on Feb 24, 2017
Is Alarm.com about to dominate the smart home software market? That is what Honeywell alleges in its new lawsuit, first reported by...
Axis: "Everything is IP" - False on Feb 24, 2017
Axis is congratulating itself, with executive Fredrick Nilsson declaring: "Now the conversion is all done and everything is IP and analog is...
Advertising Like Avigilon at the ISC West Airport on Feb 24, 2017
Avigilon has grabbed a lot of attention over the last few years advertising at the Las Vegas airport when attendees fly in. But how does that...
Artificial Intelligence Robot Assistant (ACTi) on Feb 23, 2017
Has artificial intelligence come to the video surveillance industry? ACTi has released 'SARA' which it bills as an 'AI assistant that brings...
Cutting Costs 70% Using Milestone With HD Analog on Feb 23, 2017
HD analog and enterprise VMSes are often thought of as being on opposite sides of the spectrum, with HD analog best for small jobs due to its low...
Dahua 4K HD Analog Cameras Announced on Feb 23, 2017
HD analog has been gaining popularity (even if Axis hopes otherwise). Last year, HD analog's max resolution doubled from 1080p to 4MP (see our 4MP...
Uniview (UNV) IP Cameras Tested on Feb 22, 2017
"We're #3," in China says Uniview (UNV). While the company significantly trails Hikvision and Dahua in total sales, one notable difference is that...
Glass Doors and Access Control Tutorial on Feb 22, 2017
The biggest challenge for many access control systems are glass doors. Here's what happens when a maglock is improperly installed to an existing...
Exacq Favorability Results on Feb 22, 2017
For years, Exacq has been one of the most frequently favored VMSes in IPVM integrator statistics (e.g., see Favorite VMS Manufacturers...
The Hot RMR Company - Electric Guard Dog on Feb 22, 2017
The financiers at the Barnes Buchanan conference praised a company named 'Electric Guard Dog'. While the name sounds fairly low tech, the money and...

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