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Not Just TikTok: The US Also Wants to Ban DJI Drones

After passing a law mandating the sale of TikTok, US lawmakers have now turned their attention to DJI. A report suggests that Congress is crafting legislation to prevent the use of drones made by the Chinese manufacturer. Authorities view DJI as a national security threat and aim to terminate its operations regardless of the costs.

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As per The New York Times, DJI could face a potential ban on flights in the United States. The proposed bill would classify drones under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission, barring them from accessing the nation’s communication infrastructure. The proposal garners bipartisan support driven by concerns about China’s potential access to sensitive data.

Lawmakers suspect that DJI drones might gather information on critical infrastructure and transmit it to China. DJI vehemently denies these allegations, stressing the safety of its products. Caught in the middle are regular users, constituting a significant portion of DJI’s clientele.

The ongoing trade tensions between the US and China amplifies the pressure. Both sides are keen to display a firm stance against the Asian powerhouse, creating a favorable political environment for the bill. The recent mandated sale of TikTok further bolsters the case for stricter regulations on Chinese technology in the US.

DJI is mounting a defense, but the odds appear stacked against it. Lobbying efforts have faced setbacks, with some companies distancing themselves due to political pressures. Despite its argument of being a privately-owned entity with minimal state involvement, the Pentagon seems unmoved.

Read Also: The Future of TikTok in Serious Danger: All the Options to Resolve Its Conflict with the US

DJI Placed on the Blacklist in the United States Since 2021

US Targets DJI Drones along with TikTok Amid National Security Concerns (1)

A few months back, the Department of Defense forbade purchasing DJI drones, and other federal agencies omitted it from their budgets. The conflict with the Chinese company began in late 2021, when the United States Department of the Treasury included DJI on its blacklist for endorsing biometric surveillance and spying on Chinese minorities.

According to the government agency, DJI’s parent company, SZ DJI Technology, supplied drones to the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau to monitor Uyghurs. By blacklisting it, American companies cannot invest in DJI, although selling its devices isn’t prohibited.

With the TikTok blockade now in place, DJI stands as the next likely company to face a ban.

“DJI presents an unacceptable risk to national security, and it is time for drones made by communist China to be removed from the United States,”

said New York Republican Representative Elise Stefanik stated. For his part, Republican John Moolenaar added that it is necessary to build a robust and competitive American drone industry.

The threat hasn’t been received positively by DJI, who assert that their drones adhere to safety regulations.

“Our products are designed and intended to promote the general good and benefit society,”


said Regina Lin, DJI spokesperson.

If passed, the law would solely impact new drones sold in the United States. Owners of a Mavic or earlier generation drone can rest assured, although the Federal Communications Commission is contemplating revoking their licenses if certain conditions are met.

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