DJI suspends drone sales in Russia and Ukraine

DJI Technology no longer sells drones in Russia and Ukraine for the time being. The Chinese technology company wants to make sure that its products are not used to wage war. By temporarily limiting sales, the company wants to “make a statement about its principles”.

A DJI Technology spokesperson told Reuters that.

Dutch retailers stop drone sales

The war in Ukraine is raging not only on the ground and in cyberspace, but also in the air. Russian and Ukrainian soldiers deploy drones to gather intelligence on the positioning, armament and movements of opposing troops. There are also rumours that drones will be equipped with weapons, although no concrete evidence has been provided.

Rumour has it that drone manufacturer DJI is playing an important role in warfare in Ukraine. The tech company is accused of passing information about the position of Ukrainian soldiers to the Kremlin. DJI denied all allegations. “We do not support any use that harms people’s lives, rights and interests. DJI favours civilian applications that benefit society,” the Chinese drone maker told Reuters news agency at the end of March.

Whether it is true or not, Bol.com and MediaMarkt then decided to stop selling drones from the manufacturer indefinitely. “We don’t want to risk in any way that we could possibly contribute to warfare. The CEO has said that we take our responsibility. This is an interim measure that applies throughout Europe,” a MediaMarkt spokesperson said about the matter. Bol.com said it would not give DJI the benefit of the doubt.

‘Making a statement about our principles’

After the outbreak of the war, Western companies such as Shell, Heineken, Starbucks, Unilever, McDonald’s and Ikea announced that they would cease all or part of their Russian activities. Chinese companies, on the other hand, chose to stay. Like the Chinese government, they do not comment on the Russian invasion.

DJI Technology breaks the silence and takes a different path. The drone manufacturer is the first Chinese technology company to temporarily suspend sales of its products and services, both in Russia and Ukraine. In this way, the company wants to “not make a statement about a country, but a statement about our principles”.

“DJ abhors any use of our drones to cause damage. We are temporarily suspending sales in these countries to ensure that no one uses our drones in combat,” a spokesperson for the Chinese drone manufacturer told Reuters.

DJI is in a difficult situation

The war in Ukraine has put DJI in a difficult position, according to the American news agency. If the tech company continues to sell its drones and pretend it’s business as usual, DJI can count on fierce criticism from the West. If it restricts sales (temporarily or not), it may face retaliation from the Chinese government.

It is unknown how long DJI will stop selling drones in Russia and Ukraine.

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