On Friday (18), one of the largest and most popular drone manufacturers in the world was banned by the United States Department of Commerce, which, based on national security justification, banned US companies from exporting technology to DJI. The news was confirmed by Reuters in a conference call with an official at the organization.
As with Huawei, from now on, an interruption in the company’s supply chain is expected. Although special authorizations can guarantee the right of transactions to interested parties, it is a fact that, in a trade war in which China has responded to such actions with other restrictions, similar processes tend to become increasingly difficult.
Accusations of DJI’s involvement in “large-scale human rights abuses in China through abusive genetic analysis and collection or high-tech surveillance” are in the current document, which, according to The Verge, may refer to her participation in the surveillance of detention camps in Xinjiang province, as detailed in a report by Bloomberg Businessweek.
In any case, the decision can be reversed with the due review on a case-by-case basis for certain items, with the presumption of automatic denial to all others – without any indication of which components, in theory, could be released.
Fear and reaction
Drones are largely manufactured in the Asian country or contain parts produced in the region, which has been a concern of the US government for some time. Therefore, in addition to the announcement of plans to suspend the fleet of equipment carried out by the Department of the Interior, which seeks detailed analysis, the Department of Justice had already banned, in October, the purchase of devices of the type abroad. The fear, they point out, is of espionage and cyber attacks.
All of this happened – and it does – under the administration of Donald Trump, and it remains to be seen whether Joe Biden, elected this year, will continue with current policies, which are quite extensive and also include China’s largest chip maker among the aggrieved ones, SMIC, one of the first to suffer the sanctions.