DJI Drone Ban – Why I’m Not Worried

Estimated read time 8 min read

The Concern Over a Potential DJI Ban in the US

If there is one thing that we’ve learned over the past few weeks when it comes to drones in the US, it’s the fact that we really have nothing to worry about when it comes to a potential DJI ban in this country. Let’s talk about it.

Hi everyone, welcome back to the channel, and if you’re here for the very first time, my name is Russ. Thank you for stopping by today.

The Claims Against DJI

First of all, just in case you’re not quite sure what I’m referring to when I speak about DJI being banned in the United States, there has basically been a very active group of people in our government claiming that the world’s largest drone manufacturer, DJI, is effectively utilizing their products, such as drones, to collect data from above and share it with the government of China. These people want to completely ban any products from DJI so Americans can no longer use them. The fact is, the evidence supporting these claims either:

A. Doesn’t exist because there is no data collection from DJI drones being shared, or

B. It exists, but for some reason, has never been made public.

Data collection, by the way, is nothing new. Every developed country in the world gathers data from its own citizens every day, as well as other Countries.

The Fear Being Pushed to the General Public

The fear that is being pushed to the general public is that the information that is being potentially collected affects the welfare and the safety of you and your loved ones. Supporters of a DJI ban claim that drones are being used to identify weaknesses in our infrastructure and locate targets for a potential attack of some kind.

Now, I’m no expert by any means, I never claimed to be, but isn’t it safe to assume that our adversaries probably already have that information? And this is an honest question, you guys, and I think many of you share this confusion with me. What exactly can a drone capture and transmit that isn’t already known or can be discovered by the rest of the world with a simple Google search?

And if not, do you really think Larry flying his Mini 4 Pro over his wheat field is a matter of national security? Or even your rural fire department using a DJI Mavic 3 Thermal to find a lost senior citizen in the woods? Where is the risk, especially if that drone is being flown in local data mode with no internet connection whatsoever? I genuinely would like to know the answer because we’re not getting that answer.

The Lack of a Targeted Approach

A blanket ban of an entire ecosystem is absolutely asinine, and everyone knows it. They are not even discussing a more targeted approach to this so-called problem, such as improved cybersecurity tactics like air gapping, using VPNs, or so many other things. There are so many ways that the United States government can mitigate our data being compromised or collected. You and I both know it.

There was way more to this continued effort to completely ban an entire company, and just for the record, I don’t think it’s just one US-based drone company lobbying for it. Yes, it’s part of the issue, but I don’t think a few MIT grads have that much influence. There just has to be so much more to it, and I would love to read your thoughts in the comments, so let me know what you think.

The Money and Risk to DJI

So here’s one thing that I think not enough people are talking about, and it’s the money and the risk to DJI if they were actually doing the things that they are being accused of doing. The global drone market last year was about $40 billion. That’s with a B. It’s expected to reach $50 billion in the next two years.

Here in America, Americans purchase about 1 million drones per year on average. The consumer market is going to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 15% over the next two years. Agricultural drones have a compound annual growth rate of about 31% over the next three years.

The money involved in the drone market is astronomical, and DJI owns 76% of the global market. Can you imagine the impact to their bottom line if they were to lose the United States market? It would be catastrophic. So do you think that they are willing to take that risk and get caught gathering information and collecting information from their biggest customer?

Why We Don’t Have Much to Worry About

So why do I think that we don’t have much to worry about if a complete blanket ban on DJI ever comes?

Well, a few weeks ago, we started seeing these oddly familiar-looking drones trickle into the market, namely the Cogita Specta Air on the recreational side of things, basically a DJI Air 3, and on the commercial side of things, the Anzu Robotics Raptor, or Mavic 3 Enterprise.

These drones are just the first in what I believe will be a long line of whitelisted options for drone pilots in both the recreational and commercial sectors. And for the record, these are not DJI drones, they are not clones, they are not shell companies of DJI.

These are different companies based in different countries that have basically been given permission by DJI to use their recipe. And when I say given, I mean sold. These drones have no ties to China or the Chinese government, and they have no way to share data with China. They are effectively the answer to the problem.

You will still be able to buy the best drones in the world. They may just not have the letters DJI on them. And for those of you who are worried about your current drones, no problem. Any legislation that does ban DJI will likely not include any drones that have already been manufactured. So if DJI releases a new drone tomorrow, you can buy it without the worry of it ever being banned.

The Transition Period

If the US government decides to ban DJI, there will be a transition period, likely 3 years or more. That means that any DJI drones produced or released in that transition period also will not be subject to the ban. Only drones manufactured after the ban date will be subject to legislation. And by that time, I believe there will be countless white-label options out there for you to be able to buy and use whatever drone you want.

If all existing DJI drones were suddenly grounded, the impact would be unbearable. It would be like an EMP attack on the commercial, agricultural, and industrial sectors. I dare say apocalyptic. The sheer numbers of DJI drones in this country and what they do for our economy is astronomical, and anyone who thinks an immediate ban is feasible is a buffoon. I love that word.

My Opinion

Because of this, I truthfully think that they’re just going to keep kicking this can down the road. Please keep in mind that this is just my opinion, and you should do the research yourself and form your own opinion.

But I honestly think that drone fans, as well as professional users, don’t have a thing to worry about with this potential DJI ban. As long as there is demand and companies are making money, they will always find ways to continue making money.

So what are your thoughts? Are you still concerned about a DJI drone ban, or have I made you just a little less anxious about it? Let me know down in the comments. Click the thumbs up on your way out of the video today if you got anything of value. Subscribe to join this ever-growing community here at 51 Drones. Check out my Amazon store by using the link in the video description. It has everything that I use and love to make this channel possible.

Doing that is the best thing that you can do to support this channel. If you watch this video next, it will increase your IQ by four points.

Have a great day, and as always, fly safe and fly smart.

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