Last month, DJI found itself on the US Department of Defense’s official blacklist for seemingly having close ties to China’s military. The tech giant has since denounced those allegations, stressing it would formally challenge its inclusion on the list. And now, the world’s largest consumer drone maker has released another, detailed statement on the matter, explaining how it cannot influence how its products are used once they leave the company’s compounds.
Here’s the complete statement released by DJI today, verbatim:
DJI has always opposed combat use of civilian drones and is not a ‘Chinese military company’
DJI was founded 16 years ago to develop drone technology that can make the world better. We have never designed or manufactured military-grade equipment; we have never marketed or sold our products for combat use in any country; and we take active steps to try to keep our drones from being modified for use as weapons. We have followed these principles for our entire existence, and we are emphasizing them again in light of recent developments.
On October 5, 2022, the United States Department of Defense released an update to a list titled “Entities Identified as Chinese Military Companies Operating in the United States in Accordance with Section 1260H of the William M. (“Mac”) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (Public Law 116-283).” This document includes the names of 59 companies of Chinese origin, one of which is DJI. DJI is not a military company in China, the United States, or anywhere else. We stand ready to formally challenge our inclusion on this list.
We are also aware of various reports of our drones being modified with attachments that can carry weapons on them. We need to point out: we cannot influence how our drones are being used once they leave our control. More importantly: we have never enabled these uses or knowingly allowed modifications to weaponize our products. We take regulatory compliance very seriously, and have emphasized to our distribution network that they must block any sale or maintenance to customers that may try to use our drones to cause harm.
As part of DJI’s founding principles, we have never pursued any research or development into technology that could cause harm. Unlike other drone companies, we have never adapted our products or pursued business opportunities for combat operations. DJI has gone above and beyond to make our point clear about combat drone use: We stand alone as the only drone company to clearly denounce and actively discourage the use of our products in combat, including suspending all business operations in Russia and Ukraine to try to keep our drones out of the conflict.
Across the world, DJI does not market or sell our products for combat operations. We do not provide after-sales services for products identified as being used for combat purposes. We have unequivocally opposed attempts to attach weapons to our products and have refused to customize or enable modifications that would enable our products for active combat use. Our distributors, resellers, and other business partners certify they will not sell DJI products to customers who clearly plan to use them for combat purposes or help modify our products to be used for combat operations. They understand we will terminate our business relationship if they cannot adhere to this commitment.
It is important for DJI to be uniquely clear about how we believe drone technology should not be used because we have always been clear about how it should be used.
DJI is committed to promoting sustainable progress in humanity to build a better world. We are proud that DJI drones have saved lives and improved our world in fields as diverse as public safety, environmental protection, agriculture, and clean energy production. We have never approved or enabled any use of our products to cause harm. This is the ethical standard we always have and always will stand by.