The drone manufacturer DJI has gotten into trouble. The company was added on Friday to the US Department of Commerce’s list of companies to which the export of a wide range of mainly technology-related products is not allowed without a special license, reports Drone DJ.
This is the same list that Huawei is on and has forced that company to come up with other solutions when it can no longer use, for example, Google’s services.
Huawei is on the list because it is considered a security risk, and it has been speculated whether DJI could also end up on the list for the same reason – drones can still handle fairly sensitive data – but the authority has no problem with that. Instead, it is about DJI being involved in human rights violations both within China and internationally.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the Ministry of Commerce unit that produces the list, has only said that it is about “gathering genetic material and analysis or high-tech monitoring”, but it is probably about China’s repression of the Uighurs in Xinjiang. DJI is also said to have sold products to “repressive regimes around the world”.
It is unknown exactly how many American suppliers DJI has, and thus how much the blacklisting will mean for the manufacture of drones. The list only concerns exports to the listed companies from the USA and American companies, not imports or sales.