A sizzling potato: Most firms welcome public reward, however not when it comes from a high-ranking Russian normal who calls your merchandise “a real image of contemporary warfare.” That is the state of affairs confronted by Chinese language drone-making big DJI, which has responded by reaffirming that its drones are meant for civilian use solely.
The South China Morning Put up experiences that Military Common Yuri Baluyevsky, the previous Chief of the Common Employees of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, has been heaping reward on DJI’s drones in his new e-book, writing that they’ve introduced “an actual revolution” to conventional artillery weapons due to their enhanced accuracy and effectivity in comparison with precision-guided missiles.
Final Friday, the Russian embassy in China used social media platform Weibo to submit a couple of report on the e-book from state media outlet Sputnik. The submit included a quote from Baluyevsky that learn, “The Mavic quadcopter drone made by China’s DJI has change into a real image of contemporary warfare.”
The Russian embassy shortly took down the submit, however not earlier than it was lambasted by Chinese language web customers who complained it may have repercussions for the already US-sanctioned DJI. “What would you like by saying this? Western international locations to dam DJI? Or extra sanctions on China?” one submit learn.
DJI was added to the US authorities’s funding blacklist in December final yr over claims it was concerned within the surveillance of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. The sanctions have contributed to DJI’s share of the drone market dropping from a excessive of 74% to 54% in 2021, although it stays the primary shopper drone maker.
DJI condemned the submit with a press release on Weibo. “All DJI merchandise are designed for civilian functions and can’t meet the necessities of navy specs,” the corporate wrote. “We don’t help functions for navy functions.”
This is not new territory for DJI. It suspended gross sales in Russia in April following quite a few experiences of the nation’s troops utilizing its drones to navigate missiles in Ukraine. DJI on the time mentioned the transfer was not a press release about any nation “however a press release about our ideas.”
In 21 days of the struggle, russian troops has already killed 100 Ukrainian youngsters. they’re utilizing DJI merchandise with the intention to navigate their missile. @DJIGlobal are you certain you need to be a companion in these murders? Block your merchandise which can be serving to russia to kill the Ukrainians! pic.twitter.com/4HJcTXFxoY
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) March 16, 2022
In March, Ukrainian vp Mykhailo Fedorov despatched a letter pleading with DJI CEO and founder Frank Wang to cease promoting merchandise to Russia. Fedorov mentioned the Russian military was utilizing an prolonged model of the DJI AeroScope drone detection program and that DJI merchandise had been getting used to kill civilians.