Commercial drone-maker DJI announced it would temporarily suspend business operations in Russia and Ukraine to avoid its products being used in the war.
The company stated on Tuesday, “DJI is internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions. Pending the current review, DJI will temporarily suspend all business activities in Russia and Ukraine.”
It is the first major Chinese firm to cite the war for business suspension in Russia.
Unlike many Western companies that have exited the Russian market to protest its invasion of Ukraine, a lot of Chinese firms still stay in the country. The move is considered in line with the Chinese regime’s position on Moscow over the war.
The company’s action comes, following accusations of its products being used in the conflicts.
Ukraine Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Federov wrote an open letter last month asking DJI to block sales of its drones in Russia. He said that Russian troops were using DJI products in Ukraine in order to navigate their missiles to kill civilians.
In response, DJI dismissed Mykhailo Fedorov’s claims, saying, “All DJI products are designed for civilian use and do not meet military specifications. The visibility given by AeroScope and future Remote ID requirements is one more reason why using them for military missions is inappropriate.”
Last week, DJI reaffirmed that its drones are not marketed for military use, “We will never accept any use of our products to cause harm, and we will continue striving to improve the world with our work.”
According to Reuters, Chinese drone-maker DJI is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial drones. It does not disclose financial information, and research firm Drone Analyst has estimated that the company had 2.9 billion dollars from hardware revenue in 2020.
Another Chinese business, ride-hailing firm Didi Global reversed a decision to leave Russia after Chinese social media users criticized it for bowing to pressure from the U.S.
DJI was blacklisted by the United States last year for its involvement in surveillance operations against the Uighurs in Xinjiang.