ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Trade war

Chinese-built drones raise security fears in US

Concern over market leader DJI threatens to add another front to the trade conflict

American officials are worried about the possibility of security leaks from the use of DJI drones.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- Drones made in China could leak sensitive data, American national security officials warn, adding another potential flashpoint to the trade war between the two nations.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, under the Department of Homeland Security, told the Nikkei Asian Review that it "recently released an industry alert providing organizations with information related to the inherit risks associated with using [drone] technology manufactured in China and measures to reduce such risk."

Nearly 80% of drones sold in North America are said to be manufactured by Shenzhen-based DJI, formally Da Jiang Innovations. The alert, apparently aiming to dissuade American corporations from buying the drones, could further inflame tensions in the U.S.-China trade war.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a 2017 bulletin that DJI is "providing U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government," an assertion the company called "profoundly wrong." The U.S. Army also moved to stop using DJI drones that year.

DJI responded Monday to reports of the latest alert, which did not single out the company by name. "At DJI, safety is at the core of everything we do, and the security of our technology has been independently verified by the U.S. government and leading U.S. businesses," it said in a statement.

"Every day, American businesses, first responders, and U.S. government agencies trust DJI drones to help save lives, promote worker safety, and support vital operations, and we take that responsibility very seriously," DJI said.

The company said it is committed to continuously working with customers and industry and government stakeholders to ensure that its technology adheres to all of their requirements.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends June 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media