The US is blacklisting the Chinese language drone firm DJI

© Reuters. The DJI Phantom 3, a consumer drone, flies after being unveiled at a launch event in Manhattan, New York

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s SZ DJI Technology Co, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, was blacklisted by the US government along with dozens of other Chinese companies on Friday.

Reuters previously reported that dozens of Chinese companies have been added to the so-called entity list, including the country’s top chip maker, SMIC.

Trade Minister Wilbur Ross on Friday criticized China’s “ubiquitous surveillance to suppress its citizens in Xinjiang and elsewhere”.

The trade division added DJI, AGCU Scientech, China National Scientific Instruments and Materials and the Kuang Chi Group because the four companies “enabled widespread human rights abuses in China through abusive genetic collection and analysis or high-tech surveillance.”

The four Chinese companies did not respond immediately or could not be reached on Friday.

The department also said in some cases the four companies “facilitated the export through China of items that, contrary to US foreign policy interests, support repressive regimes around the world.”

The United States government has previously raised concerns about DJI and other Chinese drone manufacturers.

In January, the US Department of the Interior announced it had discontinued its fleet of approximately 800 Chinese-made drones and previously stopped additional purchases of such drones by the Home Office.

In May 2019, the US Department of Homeland Security warned US companies about the risks to corporate data from drones made in China.

Regardless of this, US lawmakers decided this month not to ban the purchase of Chinese drone technology by US authorities under an annual defense law.

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