DJI and 7 other Chinese companies are added to US blacklist

A drone and plane share the skies over Bethpage State Park on May 7, 2020 in Bethpage, New York. Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

DJI, the largest hobby drone maker in the world, will soon be added to a US investment blacklist by the Biden administration, according to a new report from the United States. Financial times. The blacklisted designation comes about DJI’s alleged involvement in human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, although it’s not immediately clear how the White House believes the drone company is involved.

There are reports that DJI has supplied drones to Chinese police operating in the Xinjiang region, where up to a million Uyghurs have been forced into concentration camps and “re-education centers” in recent years. But China has denied allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, insinuating that US interest in the region is just another battleground in the New Cold War.

DJI told Gizmodo via email overnight that it was unaware it was being blacklisted. The company referred Gizmodo to a statement it released last year when it was first added to the so-called Entity List.

“DJI has done nothing to justify being placed on the Entity List. We have always focused on building products that save lives and benefit society. DJI and its associates remain committed to providing our customers with the most innovative technology in the industry. We are evaluating options to ensure that our customers, partners and suppliers are treated fairly,” a company spokesperson said.

DJI will be added to the blacklist on Thursday, according to the Financial Times, which bans U.S. investment in the Chinese entities, along with seven other companies, including:

All seven additional companies are already on the Treasury Department’s Entity List, which essentially prohibits US companies from doing business with the companies.

DJI is an extremely popular name in the commercial drone world, and it’s not immediately clear how this new blacklist will impact bottom line. But you still can Buy DJI products in the US, at least for now, something that can’t be said of some other big Chinese tech brands like Huawei, which have been forced to get out of major US stores like Best Buy.

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