What just happened? Drone giant DJI has suspended sales in Russia and Ukraine after reports Russian troops are using its products to control missiles. The company says the move is not a statement about any country, “but a statement about our principles.”
Reuters reports that DJI became the first major Chinese company to bring its products out of Russia. Taxi company Didi Global announced it was pulling out of Russia and Kazakhstan in February but changed its mind after pressure from social media users in China accused it of succumbing to US pressure.
A DJI representative stressed that, unlike many US companies, ranging from Apple to Intel, his decision was not a protest against Russia because of its invasion. “DJI does not tolerate any use of our drones to cause harm, and we are temporarily suspending sales in these countries to ensure that no one is using our drones in combat,” a company spokesman told Reuters.
During the 21 days of the war, Russian troops have already killed 100 Ukrainian children. they use DJI products to control their rocket. @DJIGlobal Are you sure you want to be an accomplice to these murders? Block your products that help Russia kill Ukrainians! pic.twitter.com/4HJcTXFxoY
— Mikhail Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) March 16, 2022
In March, Vice President of Ukraine Mikhail Fedorov sent a letter to DJI CEO and founder Frank Wang asking him to stop selling products to Russia. Fedorov said that the Russian army is using an enhanced version of the DJI AeroScope drone detection program and that DJI products are being used to kill civilians.
Last month, German electronics retailer MediaMarkt removed DJI drones from its shelves over allegations by a Chinese firm of leaking data on Ukrainian military positions to Russia. DJI called this claim “completely false.”
DJI stated that while it had seen footage online suggesting the Russian military was using its drones, it was unable to confirm this and had no control over the use of its products. The company recently released statement stating that it does not sell drones for military use, and its distributors, resellers and other business partners have agreed not to sell their products for this purpose or to help modify them for military use.
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