World’s largest drone maker DJI is unfazed by challenges like US blacklist
- DJI was formed in 2006 out of a college dorm room by its founder Frank Wang. The company currently has over 14,000 employees, 25% of which are research and development-based.
- DJI is just one of many tech companies that has found its products used on the battlefield.
- In December 2021, the Shenzhen-based company was placed on an investment blacklist by the U.S. government over its alleged ties to the surveillance of Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.
The world’s biggest drone maker DJI found itself embroiled in the Russia-Ukraine conflict last year.
In March, three weeks after Russia’s invasion began, a Ukrainian minister called out DJI on Twitter for being complicit in the war.
DJI is just one of many tech companies that has found its products used on the battlefield.
The Russian military allegedly used its drones on the battlefield. It includes the Mavic 3 drone, and Aeroscope, a drone-detection platform that enables users to identify the location of a drone operator.
DJI — also known as Da Jiang Innovations — denied the allegations and insisted its products are designed for civilian use, and “do not meet military specifications.”
“We certainly don’t support their use for combat,” Adam Welsh, DJI’s Head of Global Policy, told CNBC.
“The unfortunate thing is that it’s a very reliable product. So, it’s become a product of choice, even for those who want to use a drone inappropriately.”
DJI suspended its product sales to Russia and Ukraine in April. That suspension continues to be in place.
The company is not backing down despite challenges, and continues to aim for the skies.
DJI currently dominates more than 70% of the global drone market. According to a report by Drone Industry Insights, the market is expected to grow from $30.6 billion in 2022 to $55.8 billion by 2030.
The Shenzhen-based company was formed in 2006 out of a college dorm room by its founder Frank Wang. It started out by building drone control systems, which were sold to hobbyists building their own drones. By 2013, the company released its first ready-to-fly drone, the Phantom 1.
he DJI Mavic 3 Cine Drone in action on November 15,2021 in Guildford, England.
Chris Gorman | Getty Images
DJI currently employs over…