The World’s Largest Drone Manufacturer Has Been Blacklisted By The U.S Government

DJI is one of the leading drone manufacturers in the world. However, the US recently put it on a blacklist after alleging it for having military ties with China. Al Jazeera reported that DJI is amongst the 13 companies placed on the blacklist by Pentagon on Wednesday.

“The Department is determined to highlight and counter the People’s Republic of China’s Military-Civil Fusion strategy, which supports the modernization goals of the People’s Liberation Army by ensuring its access to advanced technologies and expertise are acquired and developed by PRC companies, universities, and research programs that appear to be civilian entities,” according to the Pentagon’s press statement.

China has termed this move by the US as a “typical political manipulation.” China has also come out in the open and warned the US that it should refrain from using scientific and technological achievements to impede the development of other nations

With the latest update of the blacklisted firms, there are now 60 Chinese firms on the blocklist. These include some big names, for instance, semiconductor manufacturer SMIC and I.T. giant Huawei Technology, as well as the Shenzhen-based DJI Technology.

The US has used the human rights violations in western China against the Uighurs as the basis for blacklisting firms that assist China in achieving its nefarious designs. Before the inclusion of the latest 13 firms, the U.S. Treasury Department prohibited U.S. residents from trading shares of DJI and seven other Chinese companies last year.

“DJI had already been added by the U.S. Treasury to the Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies list in December 2021, barring U.S. investment into the firm. So the DoD listing confirms the U.S. government firmly considers DJI to be a contributor to the People’s Republic of China (PCR) military,” Rollet told Al Jazeera.

“Note that DJI has received investment from a PRC state-owned fund, China Chengtong, which openly touts Military-Civil Fusion as a core goal.”

Adam Lisberg, the DJI spokesman, stated that the Drone being manufactured by the DJI is one of the only things that have kept China at bay as far as the employment of aircraft is concerned and has voiced his opinion against this development.

“There is no reason why DJI has been added to the Defense Department’s list of ‘Chinese military companies,'” Lisberg told Al Jazeera.

“DJI does not fall under any categories set by the law to be included on the list. DJI is not a military company in China, the United States, or anywhere else. DJI has never designed or manufactured military-grade equipment or marketed or sold its products for military use in any country. Instead, we have always developed products to benefit society and save lives. We stand ready to challenge our inclusion on the list formally,” he added.

As a means to counter China’s influence in different spheres, from trade and technology to defense, U.S. President Joe Biden is aggressively viewing his options to isolate China and Chinese enterprises.

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