Chinese drone maker DJI stops operations in Russia and Ukraine

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The move marks a rare exit from Russia by a prominent Chinese company since the start of the war, and comes after Ukrainian authorities claimed DJI’s drones were being used by the Russian military.

In a brief statement on Tuesday, the Shenzhen-based company said it was “internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions”, and would “temporarily suspend all business activities in Russia and Ukraine” in “light of the current hostilities”.

DJI has repeatedly said it is against any military use of its products.

Since February, Chinese companies have largely been silent about the conflict, even as dozens of the world’s largest companies have shut down or scaled down operations in Russia in condemnation of the raid, including Apple AAPLFord f and IBM IBM

In February, Didi announced it would exit the Russian market but abruptly changed course days later, saying in a brief statement it would continue to operate there. The Chinese ride-hailing giant gave no reason for the reversal and did not respond to a request for comment.

Huawei has also been criticized for not taking a position on the matter. In March, two directors of the telecom giant’s British subsidiary resigned over the company’s refusal to condemn the invasion.

In a statement, a Huawei spokesperson at the time thanked the directors, Andrew Cahn and Ken Olisa, for their service and said they had “helped maintain the highest standards of corporate governance” without mentioning Russia or the war.

a closer look

DJI, known for its popular consumer drones, has recently come under criticism from the government of Ukraine, which has publicly accused the company of complicity in Russian attacks.

Last month, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov posted a open letter on Twitter to Frank Wang, the founder and CEO of DJI.

In the letter he claimed that Russian troops were “using DJI products to navigate missile strikes,” and called on the company to stop doing business in Russia until the violence ended.

In a written response to CNN Business, DJI said “we absolutely regret any use of our products to cause harm.”

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The company referred to an earlier statement in March in which it reiterated that it did not market or sell products for military use and “unequivocally opposed any attempt to attach weapons to our products.”

The company said it had also promised to cut business ties with distributors if they did not commit to an agreement to refuse the sale of DJI products “to customers who clearly intend to use them for military purposes, or to adapt our products for military use.”





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