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National Security: China Tightens Export Controls on Drones, Supercomputers

© AP Photo / Kin CheungAn employee from DJI Technology Co. demonstrates the remote flying with his Phantom 2 Vision+ drone in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province.
An employee from DJI Technology Co. demonstrates the remote flying with his Phantom 2 Vision+ drone in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province. - Sputnik International
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China will start restricting the export of drones and supercomputers later this month in a move designed to tighten national security, state news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday.

Beginning on August 15, Chinese makers of super-powerful drones and some advanced computers will have to obtain an export license, according to China's Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs.

The new regulations are targeted in particular at drones which can fly for more than one hour and at heights of more than 15,420 meters (50,000 feet).

"The main aim of the export restrictions on drones is due to anti-terror needs, to avoid large, high-tech drones from falling into the hands of illegal elements," the report said.

In the first five months of 2015, China exported some 160,000 civilian drones, a jump of 70% year-on-year, worth more than $120 million, the official China Daily newspaper reported last month.

Drone in mid flight - Sputnik International
Menace in the Air: US Homeland Security Department Warns of Drone Terror

The new measures should have little impact on China’s growing commercial drone industry, however, as few hobby drones meet the standards for restriction.

"The recent export restrictions introduced by the Chinese government will not impact any of our products, which are focused on the consumer sector," a spokesman for DJI, China’s biggest drone maker, said in a statement.

The tightening of exports follows recent months in which China's drones have caused political incidents. Chinese-made unmanned aerial vehicles were flown onto the roof of the office of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the grounds of the White House in Washington.

Just last month, Pakistan's military claimed to have shot down a Chinese-made Indian "spy drone" in the disputed region of Kashmir.

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