US Department of Defense Officially Bans DJI Drones from Government Use

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Well, it looks like the drama between the US government and Chinese companies isn’t over.

selective focus photography of quadcopter drone
A selective focus photograph of quadcopter DJI drone in front of a waterfall. Photo by Pedro Henrique Santos

It just took a bit of a break from gracing our headlines but, here we are again, talking about consumer drone giant DJI and the US government – or, the military to be more specific.

The United States Department of Defense just added DJI to a banned procurement list, citing the company’s cozy relationship with the People’s Republic of China’s People’s Liberation Army as one deciding factor. DJI, of course, thinks this is not really a fair characterization of the company’s relationship with the Chinese government and, as usual, consumers are left wondering what to make of it all.

Drone DJ quotes the Department of Defense announcement, writing:

“The Department is determined to highlight and counter the (People’s Republic of China) Military-Civil Fusion strategy, which supports the modernization goals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 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. …Section 1260H directs the Department to begin identifying, among other things, Military-Civil Fusion contributors operating directly or indirectly in the United States. …The United States Government reserves the right to take additional actions on these entities under authorities other than section 1260H”

You can read the announcement here over on the DoD’s website.

Meanwhile, DJI, in its response to the ban, promised it was going to challenge it.

“DJI stands alone as the only drone company to clearly denounce and actively discourage military use of our products, including suspending all business operations in Russia and Ukraine to try to keep our drones out of the conflict there. There is no reason why DJI has been added to the Defense Department’s list of ‘Chinese military companies.’

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, and has never 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 formally challenge our inclusion on the list.”

Some of our readers might recall the beginnings of this saga some years back when the United States and China were going back and forth on international trade issues. Then COVID-19 hit and everything kind of took a backseat for a while. As we said, what’s old is new again and it doesn’t look like the issues cited then have resolved themselves. And, as we reported then, DJI isn’t the only company facing this kind of scrutiny.

Any thoughts you might have on the US DoD banning DJI drones from US government procurement are welcome in the comments.

Check out some other headlines at this link.

[Drone DJ]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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