Surveillance products firm Hikvision goes public

This morning on the Shenzen Stock Exchange, Hikvision Digital Technology Co. launched the initial public offering (IPO) of its stock. The firm offered 50,000,000 shares at ¥68 (approximately $9.95 USD) and will be listed as ticker symbol 002415.

According to a statement from the company, the IPO will allow Hikvision to raise the capital it needs to invest in product research and development. The company says it also plans to use some funding to "invest in its logistics and technical service centers in the U.S. and Europe", with the goal of improving customer service.

"We expect that the IPO will help us enhance the brand visibility of Hikvision in the market and award more recognition by our customers," said Polo Cai, vice president of Hikvision. "Moreover, becoming a publicly traded company will motivate us to work harder and evolve to be a stronger, more competitive company."

IMS Research indicates that Hikvision is already very competitive in its industry. The firm -- which produces surveillance cameras, DVRs, NVRs, compression cards and digital video servers -- was listed as the top worldwide supplier of DVR products in 2009 according to IMS Research's Global Video Surveillance Report 2009. While the firm has had strong success in the DVR market, it also has made forays into the emerging world of IP video. The company now offers a mix of network video recorders and has over a dozen IP camera models.

Yangzhong Hu, president of Hikvision, said that the IPO was noteworthy but that the firm's work was just beginning. "There are large opportunities and challenges ahead of us," said Hu. "We will face it positively and fully utilize the funds gathered from the listing to expand the company’s business in video surveillance industry."

Hikvision's marketing director Tony Yang said that along with the IPO, the firm will continue its expansion into network video.

"Hikvision has started the development of network video products a few years ago, as we think network surveillance is a definite trend in the market," Yang said. "Hikvison has released a lot of network video products, including network cameras, hybrid DVRs and NVRs to the market, and there will be more network and high-definition products that will be released in the coming year as well."

Yang explained the firm's global push as being balanced by local efforts.

"Although Hikvision is headquartered in China, the company has been operating globally for a few years. Now we have a U.S. office in Los Angeles; Europe office in Amsterdam; Middle East office in Dubai. We also have two joint ventures in Russia and India. The IPO will also allow us to have more resources to expand the operation into other regions, and furthermore to build up a comprehensive network worldwide. However, even though we have a 'global' approach, we are also aware of the importance of 'local touch', especially in the matured markets like U.S. and Europe. We believe the local talent and resources, as well as a strong partnership program, are the keys to succeed in these markets."