China Issues New Regs for Drone Exports
China is curbing its exports of advanced drones in an effort to gain tighter control over technologies linked to national security.
According to new regulations issued by the Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs in Beijing, Chinese manufacturers of some high-tech drones will have to obtain a special export license before shipping their products overseas.
The new rules cover drones that can fly for more than an hour, or more-powerful ones that have wind stabilization and can fly for more than half an hour.
For now, say industry analysts, the measures should have little economic effect on China’s burgeoning consumer drone sector as few drones sold globally have those specific capabilities.
Shenzhen-headquartered DJI is China’s biggest drone maker and one of the largest manufacturers of commercial drones in the world.
The company responded to the new regulations, saying, “The recent export restrictions introduced by the Chinese government will not impact any of our products, which are focused on the consumer sector” as all of its current product line have a maximum 25-minute flight time.
Privately-held DJI maintains facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, and the U.S. It recently announced it would be opening a new research and development center near Palo Alto in California’s ‘Silicon Valley.’
Few details about the new center have been released to the media, but it is known that the new R&D facility will occupy about 12,000 square feet of space, employ upwards of 75 engineers and technicians, and “help the company “build successful products for a variety of industries,” according to a company spokesman.