The war between Russia and Ukraine last year involved DJI, the largest drone manufacturer in the world.

Three weeks after Russia’s invasion started in March, a Ukrainian official denounced DJI on Twitter for being involved in the conflict.

One of the many tech businesses whose goods have been utilized in combat is DJI.

According to reports, the Russian military employed drones in combat. The Mavic 3 drone and Aeroscope, a platform for drone identification that allows users to pinpoint the location of a drone operator, are both included.

Da Jiang Innovations, popularly known as DJI, refuted the accusations and stated that its goods are made for non-military purposes and “do not match military criteria.”

According to DJI’s Head of Global Policy, Adam Welsh, “We definitely don’t endorse their usage for conflict.”

“It’s a pity because it’s a highly dependable product. So, even for those who want to utilize a drone in an improper manner, it has become a product of choice.”

In April, DJI stopped selling its products to Russia and Ukraine. That suspension is still in effect.

How popular is DJI?

Despite obstacles, the company is not giving up and is still aiming for the stars.

At the moment, DJI controls over 70% of the worldwide drone market. A study by Drone Industry Insights predicts that the industry would increase from $30.6 billion in 2022 to $55.8 billion by 2030.

The Shenzhen-based business was started by Frank Wang in a college dorm room in 2006. It began by producing drone control systems, which were then sold to drone hobbyists. In 2013, the company unveiled the Phantom 1, their first drone that was ready to fly.

More than 14,000 people are currently employed at DJI.

Welsh claims that 25% of DJI’s workforce is dedicated to research and development, demonstrating the importance of innovation to the business.

Drones from DJI are utilized for a wide range of tasks in a variety of industries, including cinematography, agricultural seeding, and search and rescue.

United States investment ban
The employment of DJI technology in military applications is not the first significant issue that have hampered the company’s rapid growth.

The drone maker was included on the U.S. government’s economic blacklist in December 2021 along with a large number of other Chinese companies. Because of its alleged involvement in the surveillance of Uighur Muslims, an ethnic minority in China’s Xinjiang province, the corporation was placed on a blacklist.

American investors are likewise prohibited from purchasing or selling firm stock due to the blacklist.

“It’s really too bad. We have categorically declared that we are not responsible for how Uighurs are treated in Xinjiang “said Welsh.

The manufacturer of drones has also increased lobbying against a national security restriction by Washington, which claimed it was a “Chinese military firm” last year.

The company has cooperated with American authorities, he claimed, and “in no circumstance have they found the data is getting anyplace it shouldn’t.” He said, “The truth is that we’ve gone through multiple audits of our firmware and of our products.”

The firmware of a drone is what it utilizes to manage all the crucial functions, including flight, battery management, and data security.

security issues
Even yet, DJI’s technology has several flaws.

Cybersecurity expert Paolo Stagno said that DJI drone firmware modifications are sold on the black market.

According to Paolo, the majority of pilots who wish to unlock their drones download such software in order to get around restrictions on the drone operator’s height and distance.


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