DJI halts all shipments to Russia and Ukraine to slow down the armament of drones 2022-04-27 14:11:15


Chinese drone maker DJI confirmed this the edge It has halted all shipments of its products to both Russia and Ukraine and will no longer provide after-sales support because it is concerned that its products will be used for combat purposes during the Russian invasion.

It is the first concrete measure taken by the Chinese company DJI to tackle the war After the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhailo Federov accused the company To help Russia kill Ukrainian civilians in a roundabout way (using DJI’s AeroScope drone detection system to target Ukrainian pilots on the ground, something DJI apparently didn’t expect). Both countries use DJI drones for reconnaissance, and we’ve seen reports of Ukraine converting some of them into makeshift weapons.

In late March, DJI . said the edge They did not stop sales in Russia or Ukraine nor did they intend to, though Hundreds of other companies withdrew from Russia in protest. “For 15 years, DJI has done everything we can to stay out of geopolitics,” company spokesperson Adam Lisberg told us.

But Reuters I mentioned today That DJI has decided to cease all sales to both countries, while maintaining a neutral stance, and while DJI is not in fact responsible for sales in those regions (existing products may continue to be sold), the company confirms that shipments and support will cease. That won’t prevent Russia or Ukraine from using existing AeroScope drone trackers either, but there’s a chance DJI won’t reauthorize any AeroScope receivers whose license expires during this period.

“DJI took this action not to make a statement about any country, but to make a statement about our principles. DJI abhors any use of our drones to cause harm, and we are temporarily suspending sales in these countries in order to help ensure that no one uses our drones in combat” , that’s what Liesberg tells us today.

Lessberg says the company was already asking dealers not to sell to customers who might use drones for combat purposes — but they’ve seen products enter a war zone anyway, so that’s an extra step. He also says DJI understands that it’s not a foolproof way to prevent drones from being used for military purposes — again, I’ll point out that DJI doesn’t control sales in these countries — and that cracking down on shipments and support could penalize drone pilots in both countries for using them for military purposes. benign.

“But we have to do something, because we don’t like to see anyone use our products to harm people,” Leesberg says.

DJI Statement on the newsroom page Don’t go too far, simply saying that DJI is “reassessing compliance requirements internally in various jurisdictions” and that it is suspending work in Russia and Ukraine “pending current review”.

We don’t have enough data to know if this move might hurt one side more than the other, but I will point out that Ukraine is the one that publicly raises money to provide these cheap consumer drones to help defend its country.

This week, the Biden administration called on Congress to Allowing more agencies access to drone tracking technologyIncluding state and local police.