Chinese Drones to Go

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Mistrust of Chinese technology extends beyond concerns about Huawei and ZTE, reports Bloomberg. Chinese drone manufacturer DJI has seen a number of American vendors, including Cape, a start-up company in California, refuse to use its components.

Cape has gone as far as stopping the sale of software compatible with Chinese drones to its clients. Much of their client base works with drones that are dispatched to crime sites. Potential security breaches were cited as a major concern. “The statements from different federal agencies have caused partners and prospective customers to have concerns,” said Cape CEO Chris Rittler. “That’s real.”

Speaking on behalf of DJI, company representative Michael Oldhenburg stated, “We are disappointed to learn about Cape’s decision, which is based on false speculation, and remain committed to continuously working with all of our customers—including more than 520 public safety agencies who trust our products to conduct critical missions.” At a Senate subcommittee hearing, DJI denied accusations that its products were used to send video footage abroad and noted it has built specialty drones for government use that do not have internet capabilities, reported Bloomberg.

Whether or not the spying charges are true, Americans are wary of employing Chinese technology, concludes Bloomberg. The tension is likely just one piece of the complicated relationship the two countries have as they compete for business opportunities worldwide. 

September 18, 2019

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