With DJI added to the ‘Entity List’ by the U.S. Department of Commerce, American companies can no longer export both software and hardware technology to DJI without a special government permit. So the question is which DJI products rely on technology from U.S.-based companies, and how will this impact DJI’s ability to bring products to the United States?
Which DJI products rely on technology from U.S.-based companies?
Well, the answer to that question is not easily found as DJI does not provide this kind of detail on their products. Alternatively, it would be expensive to open up all the various DJI products to try and originate all the components that go into a DJI Mavic Air 2, for instance.
However, David Benowitz, also known as the DroneAnalyst, used to work for the Chinese drone maker and recently provided some additional information on the U.S. sourced components that we find in DJI’s products.
According to David, DJI is likely to be affected in the following areas.
- “Various DJI cloud services, such as their websites, backend app storage systems, SkyPixel, FlightHub and more (Amazon Web Services)
- Smart battery BMS, potentially all products (Texas Instruments)
- Vision chips, potentially all consumer products (Intel & Ambarella)
- Legacy thermal imaging cameras, Zenmuse XT/XT2, and Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual (FLIR)
- Mobile app availability, all DJI mobile apps (Apple’s App Store, Google’s Playstore)”
Some of these products we already spoke about in previous posts on this topic, but the information on DJI’s smart batteries and Texas Instruments was new to me.
Now that DJI is on the ‘Entity List’, American companies will no longer be able to export both software and hardware technology to DJI without a special permit. Wi cts to the U.S. market.
“These limitations will speed DJI’s efforts to dropping US suppliers and cement entirely separate global supply chains for drones,” said the DroneAnalyst. “We expect that there will be a huge buyout of DJI’s existing stock in the weeks to come by US distributors, with stock of DJI products becoming an issue in the middle of 2021. For companies that want to continue to purchase DJI hardware, there is no Legal ban to you doing so, but the supply of their products may be unreliable.”
For some of its products, DJI has already found new sources. For instance, in the latest DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, the thermal camera is not from FLIR Systems but it seems to be an in-house developed camera or one that is sourced elsewhere.
It seems that DJI will have to work hard and fast to rebuild part of their supply chain and to find other non-American suppliers for many critical hardware and software components. We will keep a close eye on these developments and report our findings here on DroneX:
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