Witness Chinese Success in the U.K.

Major Chinese brands like Competition, CSST, Dahua, Dali, Genway,Hikvision, Sunell and TVT attracted much attention in IFSEC 2008.

For investment professional Jim Rogers, China's place in the world in the fields of manufacturing, finance and energy is apparent in its growing stock markets. Interest in Chinese culture also continues unabated. U.K. distributors are no less attentive to Chinese products and solutions as, given that the local security market is mature but still growing  streets are under 24/7 traffic surveillance; buses are implemented with CCTV systems; train stations have robot dome cameras. While IFSEC 2007 showcased 38 Chinese exhibitors, IFSEC 2008 gathered over 70. However, only a few have local distributing partners.

TVT's H.264, cost-effective DVR's elegant exterior and practical features drew many buyers. Sunell had its Polish partner visiting to take a look at its new IP cameras and H.264 mobile DVRs; and SOEST had a Greek customer examining its high quality lenses. Visitors also gathered at Hikvision's stand for its new hybrid standalone DVRs and intelligent DVR boards. These mature companies have more experience catering to foreign markets; thus allowing them to be a level above the usual price wars. Blue Star and Genway kept to their core advantage of providing services rather than simply products. Romeo Kwok, Vice President of Blue Star, stressed that the company is emphasizing match between actual performance and data sheet descriptions. "We provide customers with our production schedule, since customization is not just about OSD language exchange."

"Genway realizes the importance of the IP home automation trend, and we have been working on this for five years," said Vice General Manager Xie Yuying. "Our investment is huge and the technologies will take time to be developed." Chinese manufacturers are forming into the categories of major brands, "me- too" companies, and small-medium but experienced companies, who cooperate with partners in their different fields. Major brands have success in both domestic markets and overseas markets due to core technologies and successful branding. "Me-too" companies refer to camera manufacturers with similar IP cameras and IR cameras who compete with one another in pricing or availability of camera housing varieties. Small-medium companies may target niche markets such as vehicle surveillance, and often exhibit with specialized camera manufacturers.

Major brands include video doorphone makers such as Competition, Genway, Maichi, Roule and WRT. Competition differentiates itself with its wireless Bluetooth technology used in outdoor portals to control doors with cell phones. BlueCard, a tour guard system provider, launched its multi-technology tour guard products, featuring durable enclosure against water and impact. China Vision promoted its all-in-one mobile portals with functions such as SMS alert, door controls, and POS.

Investment in production facilities is crucial to produce stable, quality lenses. Xiamen Leading Optics uses metal housings in its mechanical designs, enhancing stability to a level that plastic housings cannot achieve due to damages inflicted by harsh environments such as high temperature, said Eagle Wang, Vice President at Leading. The manual-zoom with auto-iris lens is relatively mature among Chinese offerings.

With fierce competition among many companies in China, camera manufacturers attempt to market their brands as being a cut above the rest. Take Sunican: its patented IR cut-filter, adopting two-wiring switching control, works to avoid malfunction during filtering and to further ensure rich color in day time and good resolution in night time. NewStream Technology touted its IP cameras with digital signal CCD sensors. Witson has cameras for in-water surveillance; and Yuhua specializes in anti-explosion PTZ systems with stainless steel housings.


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