DJI suspends sales in Ukraine and Russia

·2 min read

The Russia-Ukraine war is far from the first time DJI has has come under fire for policy decisions. But the Shenzhen-based drone giant is trying its best to stay away from any implication that it might be taking sides in the on-going conflict. Following calls to halt sales in Russian, the firm issued a statement titled “DJI Reassesses Sales Compliance Efforts In Light Of Current Hostilities,” which announces a suspension of business in both countries, “pending [ … ] review.”

The full statement is as follows,

DJI is internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions. Pending the current review, DJI will temporarily suspend all business activities in Russia and Ukraine. We are engaging with customers, partners and other stakeholders regarding the temporary suspension of business operations in the affected territories.

The company, which became a favorite target of the Trump administration, has been working to avoid accusations that it’s been favoring any one side in the conflict. Ukraine officials have, however, previously implied that the company might have intentionally sabotaged its products. For its part, DJI has insisted that its products are not sold for military purposes.

Earlier this month, the company issued a statement reiterating the message, noting in part, “Our distributors, resellers, and other business partners have committed to following it when they sell and use our products. They agree not to sell DJI products to customers who clearly plan to use them for military purposes, or help modify our products for military use, and they understand we will terminate our business relationship with them if they cannot adhere to this commitment.”

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In March, the company responded to a statement from Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, on Twitter, noting that it would set up geofencing upon request. The company was also quick to point out that a determined drone pilot could easily circumvent such restrictions. “Please be aware that geofencing is not foolproof,” the company wrote, “and if the user does not connect to the internet to update the geofence data, the new geofence will not take effect for the drone.”

Such a statement does highlight some bigger issues with current drone safety systems, military use or no.

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