DJI Halting Sales in Russia, Ukraine To Stop Drones From Being Weaponised

Chinese drone manufacturer DJI announced on Wednesday, 27 April, that it is temporarily halting business activities in Russia and Ukraine to prevent its products from being weaponised.

Credit: DJI

The Shenzhen-based tech giant is the first major Chinese company to cite the ongoing conflict to suspend sales, as reported by Reuters. The announcement comes after Ukrainian officials accused the company of leaking Ukrainian military data to Russia. The country's Minister of Digital Transformation also posted an open letter addressed to the company on Twitter, stressing how Russia is using DJI products to navigate its missiles.

DJI has denied the allegations that it is leaking data to Russia, with a spokesperson for the company noting that its decision to pull out from two warring states is "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 no-one uses our drones in combat," said the spokesperson.


Reuters adds that a company representative last month also noted that it is aware of footage online suggesting Russian military is using its products. However, the company has yet to confirm the video and claims that it has no control with how its products are used.


DJI, among other Chinese companies, are seemingly caught in a tight spot as the tensions continue to escalate. Maintaining business operations in Russia will draw international criticism, with many Western companies having already pulled out of the country. Halting, on the other hand, will risk a backlash from the Chinese public, with Beijing wanting to stay neutral in the conflict.


Beijing-based ride-hailing platform Didi Global in February reportedly backtracked on its decision to shutter operations in Russia and Kazakhstan after intense criticism from Chinese social media users.


DJI had an estimated hardware revenue of US$2.9 billion in 2020, according to research company Drone Analyst.

 
  • Chinese drone manufacturer DJI announced it is temporarily halting business activities in Russia and Ukraine to prevent its products from being weaponised.

  • The announcement after Ukrainian officials accused the company of leaking Ukrainian military data to Russia.

  • DJI has denied the allegations that it is leaking data to Russia, with a spokesperson for the company noting that its decision to pull out from two warring states is "not to make a statement about any country, but to make a statement about our principles".

















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