Chinese drone maker DJI says products to remain on sale despite US restriction

A 2011 photo shows Chinese and US flags flying along Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Chinese drone manufacturer SZ DJI Technology, which was added by the United States along with dozens of Chinese companies to a restricted trade list on Friday (Dec 18), said its products will remain on sale despite the move.

"DJI is disappointed in the US Department of Commerce's decision", a representative of the company said in an emailed statement.

"Customers in America can continue to buy and use DJI products normally."

US President Donald Trump's administration is ratcheting up tensions with China in his final weeks in office.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen amid the handling of the coronavirus, back and forth sanctions, a trade war over tariffs and China's imposition of its national security law in Hong Kong.

Generally, entity-listed companies are required to apply for licences from the Commerce Department that face tough scrutiny when they seek permission to receive items from US suppliers.

An entity list designation does not bar a company from selling products in the United States.

The US government has previously raised concerns about DJI and other Chinese makers of drones.

In January, the US Interior Department said it was grounding its fleet of about 800 Chinese-made drones and earlier halted additional purchases of such drones.

In May 2019, the US Department of Homeland Security warned US firms of the risks to company data from Chinese-made drones.

Separately, US lawmakers this month opted not to ban the purchase of Chinese drone technology by US agencies as part of an annual defence Bill.

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