The U.S. government recently added the world’s leading drone manufacturer, Da-Jiang Innovations, better known as DJI, to its economic blacklist. Joining dozens of other Chinese companies, including leading chipmaker SMIC, DJI was also recognized by the agency’s Commerce Department for being one of 4 companies that ‘enabled wide-scale human rights abuses within China through abusive genetic collection and analysis or high-technology surveillance.’
As a result, American companies may be prohibited from exporting parts to DJI and other companies on the list. Consumers could also find it more difficult to purchase DJI products, which still dominate despite a drop to 69% of the market share – down from 74% in 2018. The department was also quoted on its decision, which took effect at 11:15 am, EST, earlier today by stating that DJI ‘facilitated the export of items by China that aid repressive regimes around the world, contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests.’
|The bottom of the Magic Air 2 includes obstacle avoidance sensors and an auxiliary light.|
Aligning with President Trump’s tough stance on China, the U.S. government has cracked down on DJI products throughout the year. Last November, the U.S. Department of Interior moved to ground its fleet of around 800 drones. In May, the Department of Homeland Security stated they have ‘strong concerns‘ about the security of the data collected from the use of DJI drones.
Despite the emergence of other non-Chinese-made government and enterprise solutions, including products from Parrot, Skydio, and Freefly Systems’ recent collaboration with Auterion, lawmakers rejected the proposed National Defense Authorization Act that would have banned U.S. agencies from using federal funding to purchase Chinese drone technology in early December.
Representatives from DJI could not be reached for comment.