China curbs exports of drone equipment amid U.S. tech tension

BEIJING, July 31 (Reuters) – China on Monday introduced export controls on some drones and drone-related equipment, saying it wished to safeguard “national security and interests” amid escalating tension with the United States over entry to expertise.

The restrictions on equipment, together with some drone engines, lasers, communication equipment and anti-drone programs, will take impact on Sept. 1, the commerce ministry mentioned.

The controls additionally have an effect on some client drones, and no civilian drones could be exported for army functions, a ministry spokesperson mentioned in an announcement.

“China’s modest expansion of the scope of its drone control this time is an important measure to demonstrate our stance as a responsible major country, to implement global security initiatives, and maintain world peace,” the unidentified spokesperson mentioned.

Authorities had notified related international locations and areas, the spokesperson mentioned.

China has a big drone manufacturing business and exports to a number of markets, together with the United States.

The Department of Defense and Commerce Department didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Congress in 2019 banned the Pentagon from shopping for or utilizing drones and elements manufactured in China.

U.S. lawmakers have mentioned that greater than 50% of drones bought within the U.S. are made by Chinese-based firm DJI, and they’re the preferred drone utilized by public security businesses.

DJI mentioned on Monday it all the time strictly complied with and enforced legal guidelines and rules of the international locations or areas through which it operates, together with China’s export management regulatory necessities.

“We have never designed and manufactured products and equipment for military use, nor have we ever marketed or sold our products for use in military conflicts or wars in any country,” the drone maker added.

A German retailer in March 2022 accused DJI of leaking information on Ukrainian army positions to Russia, which the corporate rejected as “utterly false”.

China’s commerce ministry mentioned in April this 12 months that U.S. and Western media have been spreading “unfounded accusations” that it was exporting drones to the battlefield in Ukraine, including the studies have been an try and “smear” Chinese corporations and it could proceed to strengthen export controls on drones.

The drone export curbs come after China introduced export controls on some metals broadly utilized in chipmaking final month, following strikes by the United States to limit China’s entry to key applied sciences, comparable to chipmaking equipment.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom Editing by Mark Potter and Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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