DJI is in the crosshairs of U.S. legislators who are riding high after the success of the bill that will see TikTok banned unless it divests from Chinese Ownership.

While the bill in question, the Countering CCP Drones Act, was initially introduced last April by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the U.S. House of Representatives, it may finally be put to a vote this month. Both of the bill’s co-authors argue that Chinese law allows the government there to compel DJI to participate in and assist in its “espionage activities,” and as such, the company should be added to the FCC’s list of banned communications equipment and services in the United States.

“DJI presents an unacceptable national security risk, and it is past time that drones made by Communist China are removed from America,” Stefanik has said. “DJI drones pose the national security threat of TikTok, but with wings. The possibility that DJI drones could be equipped to send live imagery of military installations, critical infrastructure, and the personal lives of American citizens to China poses too great a threat. Allowing this practice to continue in the U.S. is playing with fire. This Chinese-controlled company cannot be allowed to continue to operate in the U.S.”

Last year, DJI vehemently spoke out against the bill, calling it inaccurate.

“DJI drones do not collect flight logs, photos, or videos — by default… DJI is not a military company. We remain one of few drone companies to clearly denounce and actively discourage use of our drones in combat… [and] DJI follows the rules and regulations in the markets it operates in,” the company said.

Last year it may not have seemed as though DJI was actually in any real threat to be banned as bills get introduced in Congress all the time and never reach the floor for a vote, but the recent success of the TikTok ban bill has changed that, emboldening Congress and clearly scaring DJI who has taken to social media to try and drum up support against the Countering CCP Drones Act.

“A bill against DJI is expected to move in the U.S. Congress in June, which would impact U.S. operators‘ access to DJI drones. This applies to recreational, commercial, and government use,” DJI posted to Instagram over the weekend.

“If DJI’s FCC authorizations are revoked, U.S. operators would no longer be able to access new DJI drones, and their existing drone fleets may even need to be grounded. This bill is based on inaccurate claims and contradicts a technology-based policy approach that would raise the bar on drone security overall.”

DJI points those who wish to push back on this bill to the Drone Advocacy Alliance, a self-described “non-partisan, drone-agnostic grassroots advocacy coalition.” According to the WayBack Machine, the coalition’s website was created last summer, which is in line with the organization’s description: “Formed at a time when proposed drone market access restrictions at the state and federal level could upend the burgeoning drone ecosystem, the Alliance works to ensure that drone users are able to weigh in on policies that could impact their ability to use and choose the best drones for their operational needs.”

While it positions itself as being formed by a group of drone enthusiasts, the Drone Advocacy Alliance is sponsored by and its website maintained by DJI, although it claims that it doesn’t endorse one drone maker over another.

“The United States Congress is currently considering the Countering CCP Drones Act or H.R. 2864 which would prevent new DJI products from coming to market in the United States and would potentially revoke FCC authorizations for existing drones. You read that right, this bill aims to prevent you from buying the latest DJI drones and could potentially ground your existing drones, regardless of how you use them!” the website reads.

“Unfortunately, this bad idea is gaining traction, in the U.S. House of Representatives with the Armed Services Committee including the Countering CCP Drones Act in their draft of the FY 2025 National Defense Authorization Act. To protect our industry and ensure that drone users can select the best drones for the job, we need to be vocal in opposition.”

The Drone Advocacy Alliance urges all interested to send a message or call U.S. Senators and Representatives and tell them to oppose the bill as the primary way to “take action now.”

This is the second major push DJI has initiated this year. Earlier this spring, DJI put one of its major US-based stakeholders in front of YouTube Billy Kyle to talk about the ramifications to multiple industries if DJI were to be banned.

While the Advocacy website and much of the language on it has existed for the better part of a year, DJI’s outspoken public language in 2024 shows that the move to ban DJI in the United States has picked up steam and it is entirely possible that the Chinese robotics company that made a name for itself on the back of its impressive drone technology could find itself in a worse state than TikTok — outright banned with no recourse.

Image credits: Ryan Mense for PetaPixel