More Chinese tech manufacturers are under the gun from President Trump's Commerce Department. Semiconductors firm Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation and DJI, known best for its drones, have been added to the Entity List which prohibits them from U.S. imports. But while the White House rattles SMIC's closely-knit integrations to the military, the case for DJI is less clear.
In a statement, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that SMIC products, which rely heavily on American parts, are being used to benefit China's military industrial complex.
"Entity List restrictions are a necessary measure to ensure that China [...] is not able to leverage U.S. technologies to enable indigenous advanced technology levels to support its destabilizing military activities," Ross said.
Among the 60 Chinese firms that were just placed on the list was DJI, Reuters first reported. In addition to A/V equipment it makes for media creators, it also makes products for industrial and government use. Specialty drones can survey land, infrastructure, fire sites, and crime scenes.
Businesses looking to trade with companies on the Entity List must apply with the Bureau of Industry and Security for a license. For DJI specifically, exceptions could be made to the ban for materials used to treat infectious disease.
The latest blacklist is seen as a way for the lame duck Trump administration to solidify its policy positions, including a 'tough on China' stance, as President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated on January 20.
DJI did not comment on the move while China's foreign ministry was against the "arbitrary suppression" of its businesses.
Huawei and ZTE were among the first and most prominent names placed on the Entity List this year.