Pentagon Says Systems Produced By Da Jiang Innovations 'Pose Potential Threats' to National Security
19:23 GMT 23.07.2021 (Updated: 19:52 GMT 23.07.2021)
Dozens of Chinese firms, many of which have outpaced Western tech giants to become world leaders in their industries, have now become targets by the US government, which claims they are tools of espionage.
The Pentagon has reversed a previous decision about drones made by Chinese firm Da Jiang Innovations (DJI), saying they "pose potential threats" to US national security.
In a Friday statement, the US Department of Defense acknowledged that last month, an audit by the US Department of the Interior cleared DJI drones for government use after a lengthy audit. "This report was inaccurate and uncoordinated, and its unauthorized release is currently under review by the department," the DoD said.
The Pentagon further noted that a 2018 ban on buying off-the-shelf drones from any manufacturer, not just DJI, is still in place, but that Congress has also added specific bans on Chinese-made products to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the bill that funds the Pentagon.
However, there remain some cases in which such a purchase might be approved, such as last September, when the US Air Force bought several DJI drones with the specific intent of taking them apart to discover their weaknesses.
DJI is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial drones, supplying as much as three-quarters of drones worldwide, according to industry estimates. As with many other rising Chinese tech companies, such as Huawei, the world's largest cellphone and telecommunications equipment manufacturer on the planet, the US has claimed DJI products are insecure, vulnerable to both hacking and spying using built-in backdoors mandated by the Chinese socialist state.
Like Huawei and dozens of other Chinese companies, DJI was added to a Department of Commerce blacklist in December, effectively banning sale of their products in the US unless the buyer has a specific license to do so.