The New York Times reports that DJI, the large Chinese drone maker, is facing mounting security concerns within the Trump administration that its flying machines could send sensitive surveillance data back to China. Now, the company is trying to get on American officials’ good side by building a new product in the United States.
The company, which is privately held, said on Monday that it would repurpose a warehouse in Cerritos, Calif., to assemble a new version of a drone that has been popular among federal and local government agencies. The assembly of its flying devices in the United States will represent a small percentage of DJI’s overall global production. But it could help the company meet some necessary federal requirements.
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In addition, the company is building the new machine, called the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual, so that it can save data it collects only on the drone itself, and can be taken off the machine only after it lands. The machine cannot transfer any of the information wirelessly online.
The new production facility and the drone’s data features, the company hopes, will be enough to allow the new product to be sold in the United States. About 70 percent of all drones in the country are supplied by DJI, according to one estimate. The company makes small drones for hobbyists as well as the higher-end industrial grade drones used to survey remote areas and forest fires, among other uses.
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The announcement comes as President Trump prepares to meet with President Xi Jinping of China this week for trade talks that have put Chinese and American tech companies in the cross hairs of a prolonged and punishing battle over trade and a race for technology leadership.
The White House has said that the telecommunications giant Huawei and other Chinese technology companies have the ability to spy and steal commercial and government secrets, posing a security threat to the United States. Continue reading about how DJI and President Trump.
Source: New York Times