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Chinese drone maker DJI to set up production facility in the US

Written by Luna Lin Published on 

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The company will also release a new drone system to “meet the US government’s rigorous security expectations”

DJI, the world’s largest consumer drone maker, said on Monday it would transform an existing warehouse in California into an assembling base for its popular drone Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual.

The Shenzhen-based company will also release a new drone system, known as DJI Government Edition, which would store information only on the devices and block wireless data transfer, to “meet the US government’s rigorous security expectations”, DJI said in an open letter to a US Senate committee.

The California assembling base will be DJI’s first overseas production facility, even though the company already dominates the global consumer drone market with more than 70% share, according to the 2018 Drone Market Sector Report by Skylogic Research.

“This new investment will expand DJI’s footprint in the US so we can better serve our customers, create US jobs, and strengthen the U.S. drone economy,” the company said in a statement to media cited by Reuters.

However, the company is in the crosshairs of the US government recently. At the Senate drone security hearing last week, Harry Wingo, a faculty member at the National Defense University, said that US geospatial information was flowing into China at an “unprecedented level” because of the use of Chinese-made drones.

Earlier last month, the US government reportedly sent out a memo warning about security concerns regarding the use of drones made by Chinese manufacturers.

DJI rebutted the data security concerns in the open letter and warned that “unsubstantiated speculation and inaccurate information” presented at last week’s Senate hearing could “put the entire U.S. drone industry at risk”.

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