Friday, October 22, 2021

US Drone Company Skydio’s Response to Dept of Commerce Additions to Entity List

The sky is falling in, the sky is falling in!

Making big news in the community but not that much of a drama for DJI, who will still be able to sell products into America. DJI has been added to the US Department of Commerce’s Entity List, American companies will need permission to export bits, particularly chips to DJI. The list is not only Chinese companies, France and Germany also have a couple of contenders.

This very much brings ITAR to mind. The American missile technology export restrictions that stopped the US sUAS industry in its tracks in the early 2000’s and made 3DR produce it’s stuff in Mexico. This was all at a time when the idea of sub $500 GPS and autopilot equipped RPAS was laughed out of meetings full of grown-ups.

ITAR restrictions gave DJI and European manufacturers a leg up. They could sell into America, but American companies could not easily sell to the rest of the world.

Even having an idea in America came under ITAR and was the reason once chap moved to Australia to have his idea and then moved back to the USA, so his autopilot was not then subject to ITAR.

This is, of course, positive news for the Blue sUAS manufacturers, Brendan Groves, Head of Regulatory and Policy Affairs at Skydio, quickly reached out and tells sUAS News

“Based apparently on DJI’s support for abhorrent human rights violations, today’s addition of DJI to the entity list sends an unmistakable message: DJI does not share our values and cannot be trusted. DJI had already acknowledged its obligation to share sensitive information collected in the U.S. and around the world with the Chinese Communist Party–a serious security risk. Now we learn that DJI has profited for years by supporting the suppression of the Uighurs in Xinjiang province–the world’s most egregious example of human rights abuses. Today’s news also sends an unmistakable signal to the marketplace: companies should think twice about doing business with a known violator of human rights.” 

As the leading U.S drone company and the world leader in autonomous flight, Skydio is a trusted alternative. Skydio was recently selected as a Trusted Drone Provider in the Blue sUAS program administered by the U.S. Department of Defense. Earlier this year, we became the first drone company to release a pathbreaking set of ethical principles that guide our work. Skydio is proud to provide drones to consumers, enterprises, and public sector agencies in the U.S. and around the world.