Congress is stepping up the pressure on DJI, demands action and investigation on DJI drones
Two congress members are demanding that commerce Secretary Gia Raimando keep DJI on the entity list and start an investigation on DJI drones and their pricing. The two members state that the Secretary must “investigate DJI’s drone pricing which has eroded the domestic manufacturing base.”
Read the entire letter here, noting that DJI is making domestic manufacturing difficult. The two members of congress, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Gus Bilirakis, noted that:
“Unfortunately, consumers looking for alternatives to buying DJI products have few options. In 2020, DJI had 77% of the American consumer drone market. Its next closest rival had less than 4% of the market. DJI was able to attain its monopoly through extremely low pricing. 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.”
In a recent survey, it seems that DJI might even command more of the market than stated. In addition, market share has increased by competitors like Autel, but that is still a Chinese owned company.
The congress members state that not only were DJI drones used for human rights violations but that they have inhibited other manufacturers from being successful. Noting that since 2015, DJI dropped its prices to harm competition.
“These tactics have harmed consumer choice while making DJI the default consumer drone provider in the United States. We respectfully request that the Department of Commerce investigate DJI’s pricing of its consumer drone products and its successful effort to drive competitors out of the market.”
The request seems serious, as they ask the Commerce department to maintain the entity list ban. Albiet the congress members want to step up the pressure on DJI and their pricing tactics. It seems as though they want to empower domestically built drones.
“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.”
What will come of this investigation on DJI? Only time will tell, yet it seems like this request might increase the security scrutiny on DJI. Though some manufacturers state that the DUI will need funding to increase the list of approved Blue sUAS.
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