U.S. to Blacklist DJI Over Surveillance of Uyghurs: Report

DJI to have u.s. investment blocked

The United States will add eight more Chinese companies to its Investment Blacklist, including DJI. Also known as the U.S. Treasury’s “Chinese military-industrial complex companies” blacklist, it would prevent any U.S. investment in a company on the list.

DJI has been expanding outside of drones for the last several years, culminating in the company’s first standalone camcorder in the DJI 4D this past fall. But DJI is still most well known for its drones, which are the subject of consistent scrutiny by the U.S. government.

The Financial Times is reporting that eight Chinese companies are about to be added to the investment blacklist, including DJI, as well as 12 others who will be added to the “entity list” that restricts exports to them by U.S. firms. U.S. investors are barred from taking a stake in any company listed on the Treasury’s investment blacklist which now comprises about 60 firms, Reuters reports.

DJI is being added to the list because of its alleged involvement in surveillance of the Uyghur Muslim minority. This is the same reason the company was added to the economic blacklist almost a year ago. Companies added to the economic blacklist cannot have parts exported to them by U.S. companies and it is possible that U.S. consumers would find it harder to purchase the company’s products.

According to Reuters, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news briefing in China that he was opposed to U.S. “suppression” of its companies and that it was paying close attention to the situation and would continue to do so as it developed.

DJI declined to comment to Reuters regarding this recent report, but in response to being placed on the economic blacklist last year, DJI said that it had done nothing to justify the move and that it would continue to sell to the U.S. market. The company has made good on that promise, and its placement on the economic blacklist does not appear to have harmed the company significantly.

In October, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr called for the addition of DJI drones to the FCC Covered List, which could prevent the company from selling its products in the United States and would definitely bar government agencies from purchasing from the company. In a scathing letter published to the FCC official website, Car accused the Shenzen-based drone company of collecting “vast amounts” of sensitive data and essentially called the company’s drones tools of foreign surveillance.

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