Sometime during the previous week, DJI, the drone-maker of Chinese origin, made its way into the US Department of Commerce’s Entity List. Many Americans who made use of DJI drones for various purposes were not quite happy with this news. However, certain drone organizations are not too worried about this aspect. That is because they feel that, like many decisions taken by the Trump administration, there could be some level of uncertainty when it comes to this particular decision.
Previously, there has been a history of the Trump government seeking a ban on many Chinese tech giants over absurd points. As all of us know, US organizations were banned from conducting business with Chinese tech giants like Huawei and ZTE. Then came the turn of Chinese origin apps like WeChat and TikTok, which attained a lot of attention due to their ban and the arguments that followed. Although the Entity List comprises mainly those Chinese organizations and apps that are believed to threaten the US’s national security, one may wonder now what DJI do to be banned.
Well, DJI has reportedly come under US authorities’ scanner for sending out its drones to spy over Chinese detention camps, which ultimately led to enormous amounts of improper usages of human rights within China.
Undoubtedly, if the DJI drones were banned from hereon, then it is not good, especially for the drone industry, as these drones are being used for various commercial purposes. However, a few speculations are floating around, which suggest that such a thing would be difficult to implement. Presently, DJI is considered an integral part of the drone industry, and removing this would be a huge setback for the entire industry. Daniel Windham, a geographic information system (GIS) analyst who is a part of DJI drones, went on to say, “It’s the equivalent of taking Apple out of the smartphone game.”
However, post this decision came forth. DJI has specified that American citizens are still free to make use of its products.
Mike Winn, CEO of DroneDeploy, a firm that deals in the analysis of drone-related data, feels that companies would be permitted to use DJI drones once they procure an appropriate license, something of the sort that permitted Intel to continue its business with Huawei. Winn feels that the ban would not have any long-term effects.
The only organizations that could face a few issues here could be those who supply components to DJI, as not using these drones could impact their businesses. However, companies that purchase, utilize, and again sell these drones may not be badly hit.
The Trump government has sought a ban on DJI while there is still a month for the Biden administration to take over. Now, it remains to be seen by Joe Biden’s decision when he takes over the President’s office. And Winn feels that even if the ban takes place, DJI is structured well enough to bear any kind of cutoffs.
Some drone organizations are considering this ban as an opportunity to lift their businesses. They feel that with DJI drones being banned, people would shift their attention to US manufactured drones.
Winn maintains that the DJI drone ban cannot last for a very long time. He claims that DJI holds about 75% share in the American market, and erasing it from there would only mean that the US would have to work really, very hard to fill in the empty gap.