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CPSE 2015 insights: Chinese security companies explain domestic and international strategies

With over 130,000 security professionals expected to visit the show, CPSE attendance is crucial for every Chinese security company
CPSE Shenzhen showcased security products
across 11 halls. The show is arguably the
and most influential in Asia 

China is the largest security market in the world. This makes the annual China Public Security Expo (CPSE) a force to be reckoned with and a place to be seen for every security company. Boasting 11 halls over an area of 110,000 m2 and more than 6,000 booths, CPSE is listed as one of the largest and, certainly, one of the most influential security shows worldwide, with more than 130,000 visitors expected to visit the show.

Touring the show in Shenzhen this year, caught up with local exhibitors among the sea of visitors to find out more about the Chinese security industry first hand.

Beyond OEM: Making the invisible visible

Following the successful footsteps of Hikvision and Dahua, many Chinese companies are focusing on building an international brand, in addition to their established OEM/ODM business. Tiandy is one such company. In recent years, Tiandy has been seen at international tradeshows, such as IFSEC, ISC West and Intersec.

“We officially entered the international stage two years ago,” said Niko XieOverseas Sales Director at Tiandy. “We are a 22-year-old company and one of the few companies that focuses solely on IP products. We manufactured analogue products previously, but in 2012, the decision was made to solely focus on IP products.”

The company may be a new participant on the international stage, but they are well known domestically. Within China, Tiandy products are all distributed under its own brand, even though only 30 percent of the company’s international sales are branded Tiandy. Internationally, Tiandy’s strategy is to partner with a sole distributor in each country, with the exception of the U.S. market, where they hope to find regional partners. Currently, Tiandy has a distributor in Turkey and the Middle East and is in talks with potential partners in other countries.

Although local companies are
keen to expand abroad, none
are ignoring their advantage
of being right within the world's
largest security market - China

Sunell Technology is another Chinese company that is focusing on building an international brand. One of the top five companies in China, it has been in business for 18 years and currently ships to more than 90 countries.

As the company is a major player in the OEM/ODM market with 70 percent of its sales generated from this sector, Sunell Technology only sells products under its own brand in countries where it does not conflict with established partners. One such region is Latin America, which Sunell Technology entered in 2013 with favourable results, seeing fast growth and increasing demand for its products in Mexico and Brazil.

Domestic vs. international: The very large Chinese market

Although local companies are keen to expand abroad, none are ignoring their advantage of being right within the world’s largest security market – China. In fact, there are several Chinese companies that generate more than 90 percent of their sales within the Chinese market alone. Kedacom and TCL, for example, generate approximately 90 percent of their sales in China, while Netposa and Hisilicon generate approximately 80 percent.

Within China, major verticals include the government sector, finance and energy.  The government sector is considered a key vertical for all security companies and a high degree of customisation is required. Netposa, for example, customises their products to police sector requirements in China. Hikvision is also seeing a demand for drone surveillance in Chinese law enforcement.

“We major in law enforcement and the government sector,” said John Xue, Executive Director of Kedacom. “The government sector is the biggest market. Every vendor understands that and tries to get into the market, because this is the market that has the biggest demand for security products, and it is developing fast. Solution-wise, we need to do strong customisation for the clients, so we have a strong R&D team to meet this need. We don’t compete with costs as we need to commit to quality for our customers who are either the government or large corporations who can’t afford mistakes.”

Interestingly, many of the Chinese
companies are mostly offering
small solutions in their overseas
markets, despite having undertaken
large-scale projects domestically

Company roadmap: strategic marketing

Interestingly, many of the Chinese companies are mostly offering small solutions in their overseas markets, despite having undertaken large-scale projects domestically. They say the logic behind this strategy is that most overseas clients are unaware of their brands, so clients may be hesitant to employ their systems in large projects. Chinese companies hope to build up client confidence to deploy larger systems through smaller systems.

To conclude, Chinese companies are skillfully balancing their domestic and international businesses in every respect, from product offerings to technology, key verticals and marketing strategies. The rise of the Chinese security industry is more than low-cost manufacturing. 

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