Chinese drone maker DJI continues to raise national security concerns


The pandemic has put strain on the American economy. In addition to economic concerns, there are new emerging technology and security issues with Chinese drone maker, DJI. Drones are a big part of the international dispute. 

Wired article earlier this month speculated that U.S. drone companies could benefit from the geopolitical problems. Skydio, a Silicon Valley drone maker, is positioned to take advantage of the continued conflict, filling the void left by bans on Chinese-made tech.

DJI China leads the world in drone technology

Today DJI China is the biggest international drone maker. Unfortunately, they are likely also controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, which pressures many Chinese businesses to share data on foreign rivals with the Chinese government. 

FAA data indicates DJI China provides 77% of the drones used in the U.S. These “made in China” drones have military, police, and commercial applications. DJI has large international sales for these uses.

The drone technology was initially developed for the Chinese military, to track targets and relay information from the air. But by 2012, large drones were capable of advanced delivery of guided missiles.

U.S. security concerns regarding Chinese drones

The U.S. drone industry had a promising start. But from 2016 to 2018, the American drone industry was collapsing. And companies like 3D Robotics and Airware were going bankrupt. There was no way they could compete with the low cost of manufacturing in China.