DJI blacklisted and labeled a Chinese military company by the Department of Defense

DJI blacklisted by the (DoD) as the drone maker is now considered a Chinese military company.

“Today, the Department of Defense released the names of “Chinese military companies” operating directly or indirectly in the in accordance with the statutory requirement of Section 1260H of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021,” the statement reads.

The Pentagon's decision is the latest chapter in the saga of the US government versus the world's biggest drone manufacturer and comes right before the event in Las Vegas next week.

The DoD statement officiates what the department has been doing in practice since last year: not letting its employees buy or use DJI drones.

The announcement makes official what the DoD has been doing in practice since last year: not letting its employees buy or use DJI drones.

The DoD has banned off-the-shelf DJI drones for official work since 2018. However, last year an internal report stated that an investigation of the two Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) drones manufactured for government usage discovered “no malicious code or intent” and are “recommended for use by government entities and forces working with US services.”

In response to the internal report making the , DJI drones were labeled potential threats to national security last year.

DJI blacklisted by Department of Defense

Now, it seems that we have entered a new phase as the Department of Defense has added DJI to a list of 13 Chinese companies that are believed to have close ties to 's government and military.

The 13 Chinese companies were added to the existing list of 47 other Chinese organizations.

“The Department is determined to highlight and counter the PRC Military-Civil Fusion strategy, which supports the modernization goals of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) by ensuring its access to advanced technologies and expertise are acquired and developed by PRC companies, universities, and research programs that appear to be civilian entities. Section 1260H directs the Department to begin identifying, among other things, Military-Civil Fusion contributors operating directly or indirectly in the United States.”

“The Department will continue to update the list with additional entities as appropriate.”

“The United States Government reserves the right to take additional actions on these entities under authorities other than section 1260H.”

DJI immediately issued a statement in response to the actions of the Department of Defense, calling the blacklisting unwarranted.

“DJI stands alone as the only drone company to clearly denounce and actively discourage military use of our products, including suspending all business operations in and to try to keep our drones out of the conflict there. There is no reason why DJI has been added to the Defense Department's list of ‘Chinese military companies.'

“DJI does not fall under any categories set by the law to be included on the list. DJI is not a military company in China, the United States or anywhere else. DJI has never designed or manufactured military-grade equipment, and has never marketed or sold its products for military use in any country. Instead, we have always developed products to benefit society and save lives.

“We stand ready to formally challenge our inclusion on the list.”

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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