The German MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group bans DJI immediately and halted the sale of DJI products in the MediaMarkt and Saturn stores. This is reported by the German website Inside Digital.
The reason is that DJI continues to supply drones to Russia, despite a recent call by Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov to stop doing so and growing international pressure to isolate Russia from the global market.
Role of DJI in Ukraine
DJI’s technology is currently playing a major role in Ukraine. Not only are the drones used by the Ukrainians to document war crimes and the many destructions, the drones are also useful to monitor enemy positions.
The problem is that the Russians also have DJI drones, and they use them in a similar way against the Ukrainian army. In addition, the Russians make full use of DJI’s AeroScope detection system, with which drones can be detected within a radius of tens of kilometers.
Recently, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov called on DJI to cut all ties with Russia.
“In the 21 days of the war, Russian troops have already killed 100 Ukrainian children. They use DJI products to target their missiles. DJI, do you want to be part of these massacres? Block the products that help the Russians kill Ukrainians!” the deputy prime minister wrote in an open letter he posted on Twitter.
In response, DJI stated that the company’s drones are not intended for military use, and that DJI does not have the capabilities to disable Russian drones or remote detection systems.
But DJI did not comply with the request to cut all commercial ties with Russia, and the company is still active in Russia. Something that may be a result of the close ties that the Chinese government maintains with Putin’s regime.
DJI sales discontinued
The refusal of DJI to no longer supply equipment to Russia has hit the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group the wrong way, according to Inside Digital.
The company has immediately stopped selling DJI products through its stores and online store. If you visit the MediaMarkt website in the Netherlands or Germany, you will indeed no longer find any DJI drones in its range. However, there are still accessories for DJI drones from other brands for sale.
The allegations against DJI are not based on direct military support, such as the delivery of drones to the Russian army. Instead, the sales ban likely refers to the Russian military’s use of civilian drones. DJI has always taken the position not to take a political position, but the pressure on the company to take sides is gradually increasing.
Official comments from MediaMarkt and DJI
On Twitter, MediaMarkt Germany explains why the company has removed DJI’s products from its range:
Hello Dang, in the last few days, we have received more and more information from various sources that the Russian army is using products and data from the Chinese drone supplier DJI for military activities in Ukraine.
As a responsible company, we have taken immediate action and removed the manufacturer from our product range groupwide until further notice. We will closely examine further indications and developments.
With this step, we as a company send a clear signal for the values that have the highest priority for us and which we see being attacked in an unacceptable way by Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine.
Your MediaMarkt social media team.
Also on Twitter, DJI disclaims all responsibility for the military use of their products:
“The allegations against DJI are completely false. DJI promotes civilian drone applications that benefit society. We do NOT support ANY use that harms people’s lives, rights or interests. Firefighters, rescue teams and other agencies use our products to save lives.”
About DJI and MediaMarktSaturn
DJI is the global market leader in the development and sale of drones for civil and commercial applications. In the Netherlands, more than 80 percent of drone operators fly with equipment from this brand, according to the most recent reader survey by Dronewatch.
MediaMarktSaturn operates more than 1,000 electronics stores across Europe and is, therefore, an important sales channel for DJI.
This article first appeared on DroneWatch.
DroneXL’s take on banning DJI
This is the first time we learn of a large electronics retailer that bans DJI and halts the sales of DJI drones immediately as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We will keep an eye out to see if other stores follow MediaMarkts.
What do you think about banning DJI products to try and force the world’s largest drone marker to take a stand against Russia? Let us know if this is something you would support in the comments below.
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