Type to search

China Expands Drone Export Curbs to ‘Maintain World Peace’

The commerce ministry said the restrictions will include some drone engines, lasers, communication equipment and anti-drone systems

A drone is seen in the sky as Chinese drone maker DJI holds a demonstration to display an app that tracks a drone's registration and owner in Montreal, Canada, November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo
A DJI drone is seen in a demonstration display linked to an app that tracks a drone in Montreal. Lawmakers in the US look set to ban use of the group's drones. Photo: Reuters.


China is to restrict the exports of some drones and drone-related equipment as it bids to dial down tensions with the US.

Beijing announced the move on Monday, saying it wanted to safeguard “national security and interests” as the United States continues to try to curb access to its advanced technology.

The restrictions on equipment including some drone engines, lasers, communication equipment and anti-drone systems would take effect on September 1, the commerce ministry said.

The controls would also affect some consumer drones, and no civilian drones could be exported for military purposes, a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.


Also on AF: China Battery Firms Pump $4.4bn Into Korea for US EV Credits


“China’s modest expansion of the scope of its drone control this time is an important measure to demonstrate our stance as a responsible major country, to implement global security initiatives, and maintain world peace,” the unidentified spokesperson said.

Authorities had notified relevant countries and regions, the spokesperson said.

China has a big drone manufacturing industry and exports to several markets including the US.

US. lawmakers have said that more than 50% of drones sold in the US are made by Chinese-based company DJI, and they are the most popular drone used by public safety agencies.

DJI said on Monday it always strictly complied with and enforced laws and regulations of the countries or regions in which it operates, including China’s export control regulatory requirements.


DJI Denies Ukraine Data Leak

“We have never designed and manufactured products and equipment for military use, nor have we ever marketed or sold our products for use in military conflicts or wars in any country,” the drone maker added.

A German retailer in March 2022 accused DJI of leaking data on Ukrainian military positions to Russia, which the company rejected as “utterly false”.

China’s commerce ministry said in April this year that US and Western media were spreading “unfounded accusations” that it was exporting drones to the battlefield in Ukraine, adding the reports were an attempt to “smear” Chinese firms and it would continue to strengthen export controls on drones.

The drone export curbs come after China announced export controls of some metals widely used in chipmaking last month, following moves by the United States to restrict China’s access to key technologies, such as chipmaking equipment.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

Raimondo Admits China Tech Export Curbs Will Hurt US Firms

Japan Joins Chip Curbs on China, Despite Unease in Tokyo

Russia Buying Chinese Drones for War in Ukraine – Nikkei

Chip Bosses Plan Visit to Washington to Discuss China Curbs

China Drone Maker, Genomics Firm, Others Added to US Blacklist



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


AF China Bond