DJI – one of the world’s largest and most popular drone companies – has been added to the US Department of Commerce’s entity list, with the Chinese company named as a national security concern, and US-based companies calling the company technology Is prohibited from exporting.
DroneDJ first reported the news, which Reuters confirmed based on a conference call with a senior commerce official. The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for further details. DJI declined to comment.
The ban was put through the same mechanism as the US government-issued ban on Huawei products, and focuses primarily on blocking the export of American technology to a drone manufacturer. Thus, the ban would make it difficult for US businesses to provide parts or components of DJI for use in their drones, which is likely to disrupt the company’s supply chain. It can also make it difficult for US stores to sell DJI products directly or transact with the company, especially if China responds to the action after further sanctions.
When the list is officially updated at 11:15 AM ET, the ban goes into effect.
The new additions to the unit list came with a more specific action against China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation or SMIC, which was listed in response to alleged links between the company and the Chinese military.
The DJI was given little explanation for its inclusion in the list, though Commerce said other companies were added “for actions deemed contrary to the United States’ national security or foreign policy interest.” It is likely that a detailed account of the DJI’s involvement in providing drones to the Chinese government in the captive camps surveyed in Xinjiang province Bloomberg business Week Report good.
But the United States government has cited several concerns in the past over security issues with drones, which are largely made in China and have Chinese parts. The Department of the Interior has announced plans to land its drone fleet as it reviews whether Chinese espionage or cyber attack have any major security concerns. And the Justice Department banned buying foreign-made drones – including DJI’s products – in October using agency funds, citing similar security concerns. The Department of Defense, after several years of review, has certified several other drones from competitors such as Parrot and SkyDayo for government use.
This is a significant increase in Trump’s presidential efforts to prevent Chinese Trump companies from operating in the United States. Trump put Huawei on the entity list by executive order in May 2019 citing national security concerns. Europe and the UK have continued to follow suit extensively and use Huawei hardware in their telecommunications networks. Trump took similar measures to prevent Trump and WeChat from hosting in the American App Store, although efforts have been caught by court challenges and both apps are widely available.
It is unclear whether President-Elect Biden will continue these policies after he takes office on 20 January.