Chinese drone maker says products to remain on sale despite U.S. restriction

  • TECH
  • Sunday, 20 Dec 2020

A drone operator flies his drone as Chinese drone maker DJI holds a demonstration to display an app that tracks a drone's registration and owner in Montreal, Canada, November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

(Reuters) - Chinese drone manufacturer SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, which was added by the United States along with dozens of Chinese companies to a restricted trade list on Friday, said its products will remain on sale despite the move.

"DJI is disappointed in the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision", a representative of the company said in an emailed statement. "Customers in America can continue to buy and use DJI products normally."

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is ratcheting up tensions with China in his final weeks in office.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen amid the handling of the coronavirus, back and forth sanctions, a trade war over tariffs and China's imposition of its national security law in Hong Kong.

Generally, entity-listed companies are required to apply for licenses from the Commerce Department that face tough scrutiny when they seek permission to receive items from U.S. suppliers. An entity list designation does not bar a company from selling products in the United States.

The U.S. government has previously raised concerns about DJI and other Chinese makers of drones.

In January, the U.S. Interior Department said it was grounding its fleet of about 800 Chinese-made drones and earlier halted additional purchases of such drones.

In May 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned U.S. firms of the risks to company data from Chinese-made drones.

Separately, U.S. lawmakers this month opted not to ban the purchase of Chinese drone technology by U.S. agencies as part of an annual defense bill.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Grant McCool)

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