After telecoms equipment vendors, another set of Chinese tech companies have found themselves in the crosshairs of the US government. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reportedly sent out a memo warning American businesses about the potential security concerns regarding the usage of drones made by Chinese manufacturers such as DJI, the Financial Times reports.
“Be cautious when purchasing UAS (unmanned aircraft system) technology from Chinese manufacturers as they can contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself,” the memo cited by the Financial Times read.
The warning came amid intensifying tech decoupling mandated by the White House. Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order effectively barring Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from the US market, and the Commerce Department subsequently put Huawei and its affiliates on a blacklist which bans US suppliers from doing business with them without government approvals.
Though the DHS’s warning did not mention any company by name, its target was most likely DJI, a Shenzhen-based drone maker. DJI, which was founded in 2016, dominates the global drone market with an estimated 74% market share, according to the 2018 Drone Market Sector Report by Skylogic Research.
DJI said in a statement on Monday that it had long placed great importance on data security, and that their technology had been “independently verified” to be secure by the US government and US businesses. “When our customers use DJI drones and other tech products, they are given full and complete control over how their data is collected, stored, and transmitted,” the statement read.