The Chinese security and public safety market is the largest in the world. The industry is on the rise, with significant opportunities in homeland security and public safety. In China, people attach a lot of importance to safety as it is the top priority, along with health. This desire for safety is common in China and can even be noticed in people’s financial behaviour, saving more money than other countries on average. According to the 11th Five-Year Plan, the domestic safety and security industry will reach US$80.6 billion this year, of which the surveillance market accounts for 50%. In the past, the Chinese built the Great Wall to protect themselves from external aggressors, but today security is taken a step further by ensuring internal defense built against crime, terror, man made and natural disaster.
A committed government aids security market in China
Chinese cities are intensively investing into safety equipment by acquiring the latest technologies and equipment. Those cover cyber security, system integration, video surveillance, tracking technologies, consulting and planning, security planning, public safety communication, emergency notification, physical identity and access management and information management. This security market in China, focused on citywide protection, is dominated by foreign-based companies enjoying technological advantages. 35% of the market is owned by overseas corporations and has reached $46 billion of revenues. Sichuan province has spent $4.2 billion for its “safe cities” project with 500,000 additional surveillance cameras, while Guangdong province plans to order twice as many security cameras as Sichuan. Beijing on its own will soon be operating more than 700,000 cameras across the city. Another 310,000 surveillance cameras will be bought by Urumqi and Guangzhou.
The massive population movements occurring in China are accompanied by colossal government budgets to relocate 250 million rural residents in modern Chinese cities. This will enable them to decrease the current income inequalities existing between the urbanised east coast and the western and central regions’ lagging development. These cities plan to welcome large numbers of immigrants, while also making sure to maintain the security of the ballooning urban population, to ensure the government mandated economic development continues uninterrupted. Tens of billions are being spend on top quality technologies by the government for cities to remain safe and sound.
Security though surveillance
The equipment range demanded from the security market by the government is particularly large and each expects strong growth in the next years. The smart video surveillance is booming in China as the government, but also corporations, aim to ensure security through surveillance. The competition for the security market in China is fierce since there are several important international competitors including Cisco, IBM, Huawei, Symantec as well as rising Chinese companies supported by the State. The profitability of the market is in no doubt as today 13 million cameras have already been installed in China. China may be the world’s largest consumer of video surveillance equipment but there is little sign of this trend slowing down.
In order to ensure maximal security, China would like to remain independent in its core chips and systems, but locally produced cameras don’t deliver sufficient image quality to recognize faces and no audio can be recorded yet. Furthermore, efficient storage and compression of the massive quantity of information isn’t available today.
Towards cyber security: Plan 3111
The IT security market in China is estimated at $4.9 billion and expected to double in 2 years. The International Data Corporation (IDC) believes that the compound growth rate will be 12.2% over the next 3 years. With the exception of IBM, all antivirus suppliers in China are domestic to protect personal information and spying as a scandal blow away the image of many foreign based companies. The environment is particularly dynamic as mergers and acquisitions are frequent and domestic companies are developing at a high pace. Despite the protectionism displayed by the Chinese government, top performance are desired by the Chinese meaning that piecing through the country like IBM with top-notch service and technology will enable high market share as other foreign companies aren’t present on the market.
Most companies are orienting themselves towards information technology security and their personal information products for enterprises as this market will rise up to 4.83 billion dollars this year. As China is investing heavily into control and security of the internet, objects are connecting with the web creating Internet of things (IoT). As a result, in longer term control and security will even reach people’s daily objects. Benjamin Franklin wouldn’t agree with this policy as it is believed that “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”