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China Tightens Drone Export Regulations Amid Tech Disputes

Escalating US-China Tech Tensions: China Restricts Drone Exports.

China has issued a public declaration stipulating new export restrictions on select drones and drone-associated equipment, underscoring their intent to shield “national security and interests”. This maneuver occurs in the midst of escalating disagreements with the United States regarding technological accessibility.

Starting from September 1, a myriad of drone parts, such as specific engines, lasers, communication instruments, and anti-drone systems, will fall under these newly imposed restrictions, as detailed by the Chinese commerce ministry.

According to Reuters, the influence of these regulations will extend to certain consumer drones as well, with a clear prohibition on the exportation of civilian drones for military utilization, as articulated by an official spokesperson for the ministry.

By augmenting the reach of its drone control in a measured manner, the spokesperson asserted, China is articulating its position as a responsible major world power. The decision is a vital step toward advancing global security initiatives and upholding international tranquility, they elaborated.

International territories and relevant nations were apprised of this development, the spokesperson confirmed.

China, a notable player in the drone production industry, exports its products to various international markets, including the U.S.

According to U.S. legislators, the Chinese firm, DJI, manufactures over half of the drones sold in the U.S. These drones are widely utilized by public safety agencies, making them a popular choice.

In a recent statement, DJI clarified its strict adherence and enforcement of all legal and regulatory stipulations of the countries or regions it operates within, which encompasses China’s export control regulatory prerequisites.

The company explicitly stated, “Our operations have never involved designing and manufacturing products or equipment for military purposes. Furthermore, we have never endorsed or sold our products for utilization in military conflicts or wars in any country.”

Earlier, in March 2022, a German retailer had accused DJI of surreptitiously disclosing Ukrainian military locations to Russia, a claim that the company categorically dismissed as “utterly false”.

In a statement made in April this year, the Chinese commerce ministry refuted “unfounded accusations” made by U.S. and Western media that it was facilitating the export of drones to the Ukraine conflict zone. The ministry further expressed its determination to augment export controls on drones, describing these reports as attempts to tarnish the reputation of Chinese enterprises.

These recently enforced drone export restrictions follow on the heels of China’s announcement last month of export controls on certain metals, commonly used in chip production. This development is seen in light of the United States’ attempts to curtail China’s access to crucial technologies like chip manufacturing equipment.

Topics: China’s New Drone Export Controls, US-China Technology Disputes, Impact of Drone Export Restrictions, DJI’s Response to Export Controls, Drone Manufacturing in China, International Trade Regulations on Drones, China’s National Security Measures

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