US adds DJI, a Chinese drone-maker, in its commerce blacklist
When it comes to drones, DJI is one of the most famous names, and it is also considered the largest maker of drones in the world. It has been added to the blacklist over its suspicious ties with the Chinese government. The list allows the U.S. government to stop American companies from exporting technology to any blacklisted company over national security concerns. This is not the first time that a Chinese company is getting flak over something notorious.
Reuters confirmed the news of blacklisting after a call with a senior government official from the Department of Commerce. The U.S. government is quite serious about its crackdown on Chinese monopoly in trade and I.P. theft.
It’s the same process they used to ban Huawei products in the U.S. that’s been used to stop the export of technology to the DJI. With this ban, it will be impossible to sell technology or components to DJI for making drones. Since the supply chain is disrupted, it will be almost impossible to sell DJI drones in the U.S. stores, especially if China retaliates similarly.
What does the Department of Commerce say about DJI?
If you read the particular filing that includes DJI in the entity list, it says: “ The ERC determined to add the entities AGCU Scientech; China National Scientific Instruments and Materials (CNSIM); DJI; and Kuang-Chi Group for activities contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests. Specifically, these four entities have enabled wide-scale human rights abuses within China through abusive genetic collection and analysis or high-technology surveillance, or facilitated the export of items by China that repressive aid regimes around the world, contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests.”
“China’s corrupt and bullying behavior both inside and outside its borders harms U.S. national security interests, undermines the sovereignty of our allies and partners, and violates the human rights and dignity of ethnic and religious minority groups, Commerce will act to ensure that America’s technology—developed and produced according to open and free-market principles—is not used for malign or abusive purposes.”
- Wilber Ross, Secretary of Commerce in Press Release
What is DJI blacklisted?
DJI’s name came into the entity list because the other Chinese company that manufactures semiconductors – Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) has specifically been scrutinized for its alleged ties with the Chinese military.
The U.S. government is also worried about security issues over drones, as most of them are manufactured in China, with components mostly produced in China. The Department of Justice has issued a ban on sell/purchase of foreign-made drones.
The American government is heavily reviewing foreign products due to fears of compromised national securities. The Department of Defense has turned to other drone makers like Parrot and Skydio after heavily testing and examining them.
President Donald Trump is putting severe efforts to block entry and monopoly of Chinese tech companies in the United States. It started with an executive order from him in May 2019. Which stopped Huawei from operating in the U.S. However, the same path was not followed in the U.K. and other countries in Europe. They are still allowing Huawei to work in their countries. Now the question remains, will President-elect Joe Biden keep the executive order in action after entering into Office in January?
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