I would really like to hear from the loyal Hikvision & Dahua dealers how they can support a manufacturer that derives most of its money from the twisted, control freak Chinese regime. I doubt it weighs on their conscience one bit as profit is more important than anything, including but not limited to human rights violations.
While increased press on video surveillance poses more risk for the industry, maybe it is a good thing for Americans to see this so they can think their decisions on what product to choose more carefully. The average consumer has no idea what they are supporting at this point, but each and every article like this on IPVM and WSJ is going to gradually change the perception.
Unprofitable at the net level, not at the gross level, i.e., each unit they sell is more than it costs to produce but not enough to cover their overhead (sales, marketing, operations, inventory, local facilities, etc.).
No. When you sell something for more than it costs to produce, it does not drain cash. The problem is the overhead. If your total contribution margin is less than your overhead, you are operating at a loss, even if you have positive gross margin.
Returning to your opening assumption that it might be a 'patriotic duty to enhance their losses', buying their products would not achieve that goal, since it would contribute gross profits that, if enough people bought (and fixed costs could be constrained), could eventually make them profitable.
"Unprofitable at the net level, not at the gross level, i.e., each unit they sell is more than it costs to produce but not enough to cover their overhead (sales, marketing, operations, inventory, local facilities, etc.)"
For example, Hikvision USA talks about its performance publicly regularly but the description is about top-line revenue, not local profitability (e.g. Jeffrey He 9/2017).
Another point, Hikvision USA has slowed their expansion. In Feb 2017, they expected "more than 400 employees". By September 2017, it was down to 350. A company slowing hiring is a sign of profitability and growth problems.
Moreover, Hikvision USA is selling products for about half of what Axis does but spending more on sales and marketing than them. It's not a profitable combination, even if things are made cheap in China.
But #3, you and I know each other. You are not looking to be convinced. You just want me to admit that I have not seen Hikvision's internal financials. You can happily pretend that Hikvision USA is profitable. Or Dahua USA, which is even funnier.
I can see how the security flaws could be something for people to worry about when choosing a manufacturer, but doubt it matters who else they sell to.
I'm sure you purchase many products from companies that also sell to another company/government that commit violations worse than human rights.
This type of press might even be positive in some peoples eyes. Right or wrong, if the Chinese government, or any other country's government is using it for their own security in this magnitude, then it must be good enough for an eight camera system.
And these article might change a few average consumer's perception, but unfortunately the only thing that will ultimately change their mind is a product with similar qualities and cheaper price.
And these article might change a few average consumer's perception, but unfortunately the only thing that will ultimately change their mind is a product with similar qualities and cheaper price.
I agree that this article and such press is not a factor for consumers.
Where it is a factor is in enterprise and government purchasing. Those people, either by direct employment or association (retired military, law enforcement, etc.) tend to care more about such things and far less about cheaper price, e.g., Fortune 500 Company Bars Dahua and Hikvision
Yikes...we're looking at this in disgust, but we're only another Patriot Act away from having this in some areas of our own country. People make hasty decisions when they're afraid, including consenting to what would normally be unlawful search. Governments are counting on our fear, so it's best not to give in to it.
we're only another Patriot Act away from having this in some areas of our own country
Respectfully but strongly disagree. America's civil liberties and freedoms are far more robust than China. While we should protect them and beware of risks, there should be no conflating with how China operates with the US.
The US President cannot fire Supreme Court Justices or remove Congressman. By contrast, Xi Jinping and the CCP can change their senior officials as they please. Our system of checks and balances limits abuses of power.
The US has freedom of press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. This is backed up by an independent judiciary. Not only does China not have this, China routinely disappears, detains and detains people for 'picking quarrels' or criticizing the government even on social media. Our system and well-protected freedoms allows people to criticize and counter government officials and actions.
In the US, our freedoms are so great, people can routinely mock, attack and even threaten the President. Not only are those people not arrested, other Americans cheer them on. By contrast, the China Communist Party cracked down on people who posted images that compared Xi Jinping to the Winnie the Pooh.
Look at what China is doing with their social credit system. If China finds you are a 'troublemaker' (e.g. criticizing the Chinese government or being friends with such people), you "will have slower internet speeds; restricted access to restaurants and the removal of the right to travel". There is nothing anything close to such Big Brother control in the US.
I wonder if they're doing this with foreigners or even folks who have never been in China? It would be interesting to see the scores. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess John is on an "immediately detain and educate" list somewhere.
And Chinese citizens either don't mind this or definitely scare easy.
You think they 'scare easy' because you don't understand the depth of control that the Chinese government exerts. In the US, it is easy to complain and protest about anything. In China, you literally risk your life doing so.
Well maybe they aren't proud of it, but I don't know of any more up front way to do it?
Same thing happens in US to some extent, but with a more subtle approach. I haven't visited China much less lived there. So I don't know what it's really like. The friends and family that I know who have, enjoyed it.
Same thing happens in US to some extent, but with a more subtle approach.
What? Same thing? Care to share some examples to back up your claim?
Are you aware that Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, GitHub, the NY Times, Dropbox, Bloomberg, Wikileaks, the BBC and much more are banned in China? What 'subtle approach' of the US are you talking about that is anything like what China does?
Are you aware that Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, GitHub, the NY Times, Dropbox, Bloomberg, Wikileaks, the BBC and much more are banned in China?
No I was not aware of that, and unless you can tell me how that directly harms my family, it really isn't any of my business and I could care less. But your comment did spark my attention and got me to waist a couple minutes online. Are you aware that this happens in a lot of countries?
Doesn't sound like that bad of an idea. I bet those countries have a much lower rate of vitamin D deficiency in their population being forced to leave their computer and go outside to play in the sun.
I recommend you learn more about China and its vast problems before putting down your own country so cavalierly.
So the US doesn't do any of this stuff TO SOME EXTENT? I assume this is what you are referring to as "putting down".
I may not know all the facts and political BS but I have never "put down" my country here or anywhere else in my life. I may not agree with some things we do, like being too involved in other countries affairs.
I recommend you to stop twisting my words and letting them come out of your mouth.
The authorities increasingly used “residential surveillance in a designated location”, a form of secret incommunicado detention that allowed the police to hold individuals for up to six months outside the formal detention system, without access to legal counsel of their choice, their families or anybody else from the outside world, and placed suspects at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
On 7 November, the National People’s Congress (NPC) passed the Cyber Security Law, which purported to protect internet users’ personal data from hacking and theft, but made it obligatory for internet companies operating in China to censor content, store users’ data domestically, and enforce a realname registration system in a way that runs counter to national and international obligations to safeguard the rights to freedom of expression and privacy. The law prohibited individuals or groups from using the internet to “harm national security”, “upset social order”, or “harm national interests”
The campaign to demolish churches and remove Christian crosses from buildings in Zhejiang province, launched in 2013, intensified into 2016. According to international media, more than 1,700 crosses had been removed by the end of 2016, prompting a series of protests
Political arguments especially involving other countries isn't something I enjoy doing so you can guess how my New Year's weekend studying session went. Pretty good if you count studying the different chinese brands of bottle rockets and their performance during an exhilarating game of bottle rocket war.
"Are you aware that this happens in a lot of countries?
Doesn't sound like that bad of an idea. I bet those countries have a much lower rate of vitamin D deficiency in their population being forced to leave their computer and go outside to play in the sun."
I hope that bolded part was just the set up for the lame vitamin D joke - and not what you actually believe.
As a Dahua dealer and former installer of Hikvision products I can explain my outlook on the use of/support for a manufacturer who derives a substantial portion of their income from a control freak regime. First I feel it is important to look at this issue in context. China is by far number one in big brother style surveillance and a major violator of human rights. However where do we rank in the US, the UK, or rest of the “free world”?
In the greater Los Angeles area, where I live, there are multiple cameras at every major intersection, on every freeway, and now even on Law Enforcement drones being used over residential areas. As for violations of human rights, UD2 already mentioned the Patriot Act which allows our government to circumvent many of our Constitutional protections, and in the name of “the war on terror” commit countless unlawful imprisonments, seizures of property, and even torture suspects for information. Is our government tyrannical? No far from it, but it is also far from innocent.
With that in mind partnering with any company who earns a substantial portion of their income from any government agency to me is the same. To that end, I weigh each individual project/company on its own merits. Are they asking us to do anything unlawful or immoral? Are we bystanders to unlawful or immoral acts being committed?
As far as Dahua is concerned in this case I feel the answer to both is no. Even when examining what they are doing for the Chinese government I do not see them involved in any kind of unlawful or immoral activity. I may not like the way the government uses their technology but as a for profit business I cannot fault them for supplying cameras for city wide projects.
Now Hikvision is a different beast as we all know. I do have moral issues with a surveillance company that is a spin off of a governmental spy agency, that is controlled directly by said government, and has shown itself to be dishonest about its own origins and making products with multiple critical vulnerabilities.
For those of us who like to throw around the term “Hikua” for fun, this is really the distinguishing factor for me between the world’s two largest manufacturers. Yes they imitate one another, yes they offer very similar product lines, yes they probably even share/steal/reverse engineer each others tech... as done by leaders in every industry (apple v google, ford v chevy, everyone v tesla) but at the end of the day one of these companies is part of the government regime and the other is a for profit business that is separate from the said regime. Not to mention Dahua has honestly answered for and responded to its mistakes and critics. They are by no means perfect but then again who is?
" but at the end of the day one of these companies is part of the government regime and the other is a for profit business that is separate from the said regime"
to be honest i find this stand a little naive. If you see the Chinese government as an evil oppressive regime then you should not buy anything that originates from China (including western OEMed products), buy Korean, Taiwanese or Japanese, there are enough options out there.
As long as it it in China, the fact the Dahua is a "for profit" business does not mean it is disconnected from the Chinese government or that the Chinese government doesn't have any way of controlling it. Dahua depends on banks for credit lines, in China these banks are controlled by the government, Dahua depends on the government for numerous government contracts in their domestic market and i can think of a few more levers the government can use to influence the company.
As was mentioned here before, China is a one-party state with a formidable security apparatus, do you think that if the Chinese equivalent of "Agent Smith" pays a visit to Dahua HQ they will not fall in suit to do what the government wants?
I personally do not see the Chinese manufacturers as part of a plot to take over the world, in the 90s similar views were voiced against the Japanese taking over the world economy, i believe it is a question of time before some other country rises to prominence. Maybe in 10 years we will be discussing the rise of Indian manufacturers and how they undercut the Chinese prices.
China is one of the most oppressive regimes, yes. However so many products that we use on a daily basis are made in China. Check your tags, electronics, tools, pens, furniture, cookware, etc and you are bound to find made in China written more often than you may like. So knowing that it is so pervasive in our lifestyles, does that mean that all of those manufacturers are part of the regime? Is every dollar that I spend on Chinese made goods going to the Communist party? Most likely not, it is going to for profit companies that are trying to be successful. Are those companies paying taxes to the government? Yes and a piece of my spent dollars will make their way back for government use. Could the Chinese government come in one day and a la Agent Smith lean on the Mr Anderson’s of China to enforce their will upon them? They certainly can and probably do when it suits them (pun intended).
However, that means if one truly wants to remove Chinese made products/electronics/IoT devices from their lives they are going to have to search far and wide in their homes/offices/vehicles to effectively purge these “Sentinels” (since you brought up the Matrix I am just going to keep rolling with it).
So my point about Dahua and Hik is that one is run by Agents and the other by Mr Anderson (not Neo just plain old Mr Anderson). I cannot bring myself to support an orginization that is directly linked back to “the Source” (ok maybe now I am having too much fun with this). Could Dahua become overrun or controlled by the Communists? Yes and that is something that I will not support. However should I cut ties from a company that is actively helping me grow my business and allowing me to provide greater value to my clients and dealers, due to the possibility that an Agent may seize control? I do not think so, but I am glad to be a part of IPVM because I know if that does happen they will be the first to report on it so we all can act accordingly.
Thanks for the critique UD6, it allowed me to clarify my point and use a lot of awesome Matrix references. Btw I do understand that you are not against Chinese products, but rather you do not see a distinction between Dahua and Hikvision. I beg to differ but that is one of the awesome things about living in “Zion” rather than being “plugged in”, the freedom to dissent.
As someone who has worked with those Los Angeles cameras on poles and corners, they are for traffic and only the corner PTZ’s are viewed, not recorded and usually only if there is an issue reported with the intersection.
The cameras on the top of poles are used with analytics to replace the in ground traffic loops.
It seems there is a clash between showing off new technology and maintaining old mindsets. How good can their surveillance really be if they have to send you a paper form to fill out that asks questions like: Do you have a passport?
In my mind police on every corner, checkpoints at every store, transportation hub, etc. and paper surveys all show that the surveillance technology isn't working very well - if it was they would already know where you are and what you're doing.
Or it could just be the primary purpose is fearmongering and not surveillng.
Many of the ways Chinese police are collecting samples are impermissible in the U.S. In China, DNA saliva swabs or blood samples are routinely gathered from people detained for violations such as forgetting to carry identity cards or writing blogs critical of the state, according to documents from a national police DNA conference in September and official forensic journals.
Others aren’t suspected of any crime. Police target certain groups considered a higher risk to social stability. These include migrant workers and, in one city, coal miners and home renters, the documents show.
Electronics salesman Zhang Haitao raised on social media whether the massive anti-terrorism campaign in Xinjiang was fuelling resentment among Muslim Uygurs
Court records say Zhang was convicted of sending 274 posts from 2010 to 2015 on Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat that “resisted, attacked and smeared” the Communist Party and its policies, earning him 15 years in prison for subversion of state power. He was given another five years for talking to foreign reporters and providing photos of the intense police presence in the streets of Xinjiang.
This isthe type of punishment that is impossible and incomprehensible in the EU or the USA but isthe norm for China.
Don't fool yourself into thinking western companies have an altruistic sense that prevents them from selling to "any regime that wants to buy it," most western companies will peddle to any regime that wants to buy it as well, the all mighty dollar is what dictates the decisions made in those boardrooms. The main reason they might not sell to them is their own respective governments prevent it (with threat of fines, making selling a less profitable venture) - and many times that doesn't even stop them. Read the Bloomberg series from a couple years ago "Wired for Repression." It discusses some of those very countries you list buying surveillance technology from Western companies.
Ignoring the skin-crawling level of Chinese governmental intrusion, the one positive "silver lining" from the WSJ video was that this technology is being heavily used in a large test environment. I believe that element is good for surveillance product development.
this technology is being heavily used in a large test environment. I believe that element is good for surveillance product development.
Could be, assuming it's actually being used. As I point out in the post, the examples given are from marketing videos, so unclear what is in reality.
Also, to the extent that it is being used, unclear how much manual intervention is needed, i.e., how heavy are the false alerts and how much is that being tolerated since labor is cheaper in China, 'security' is a higher priority and false matches are less of a concern (whereas in the EU or US a face recognition false alert arrest would cause a national controversy).
Using facial recognition, when a person of interest ventures further than 300 meters out of the safe area, authorities are notified and can be dispatched to intervene or visit their home to question friends or family.