Schakowsky, Bilirakis Urge Scrutiny of Chinese Drone Maker Over Human Rights Abuses

August 31, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Chair, and Congressman Gus Bilirakis, Ranking Member of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote to Department of Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo on Chinese drone company Shenzhen DJI Sciences and Technologies Ltd. (DJI). DJI was placed on the Department of Commerce’s Entity List in December 2020 for its role in supporting China’s human rights abuses.

The letter reads, in part:

“We write to request that the Department maintain and enforce DJI’s status on Entity List and investigate DJI’s drone pricing which has eroded the domestic manufacturing base. Reporting over the past few years suggests that DJI drones may have been used by Chinese security forces in Xinjiang engaged in human rights abuses.

“Additional evidence emerged revealing drone footage of men shackled and blindfolded at a train station in Xinjiang in 2019. We are gravely concerned that DJI drones may have been used to perpetuate human rights abuses and with attempts to cover up their potential involvement.

“Consumers looking for alternatives to buying DJI products have few options…Reports indicate that DJI dropped its prices for consumer drones by as much as 70% in 2015. Since then, three of their largest competitors stopped production of consumer drones…These tactics have harmed consumer choice while making DJI the default consumer drone provider in the United States.

“DJI deserves additional scrutiny by the Department of Commerce for its history of complicity with human rights abuses and its market tactics. We ask that DJI remain on the Department’s Entity List and that the Department investigate its pricing of consumer drones which has harmed American consumers.”

A PDF of the final letter is available HERE.

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