US policies put Chinese drone maker's operations in a spin 

About a third of DJI's 200 employees in its three North American offices have been let go, while others moved to rivals,  a report quoted former and current employees as saying

US policies put Chinese drone maker's operations in a spin
People wear face masks as they walk past Chinese drone manufacturer DJI's main store in Shenzhen. File photo by Reuters.

(ATF) The North American operations of Chinese drone giant DJI Technology have been hit by staff cuts and resignations, upending what was one of the company's most successful divisions, according to a March 8 report.

Washington's trade curbs on high-profile Chinese companies such as DJI have created problems for the company and threaten to erode its dominance of the drone market, Reuters reported.

Some key managers have joined rivals, while about a third of DJI's 200 employees in its three US offices have been let go, Reuters quoted former and current employees as saying.

DJI, a privately held company founded and run by billionaire Frank Wang, said it made the difficult decision to reduce staffing in Palo Alto to reflect the company's "evolving needs".

The Shenzhen-based company said its North American sales were growing strongly despite the cutbacks and what it termed misinformation created by rivals.

'ROBUST DATA SECURITY'

"Despite misleading claims from competitors, our enterprise customers understand how DJI products provide robust data security," the company told Reuters in a statement. "Despite gossip from anonymous sources, DJI is committed to serving the North American market," it added.

DJI, which has become a symbol of Chinese innovation since it was founded in 2006, is one of dozens of companies caught in the crossfire of trade and diplomatic hostilities between Washington and Beijing, like Huawei and Bytedance.

Donald Trump, the former US president, in January signed an executive order directing government agencies to prioritise removing Chinese-made drones from their fleets and to assess any security risks.

Deployment of drones, however, is growing worldwide, with a range of multinational companies from Vodafone to AIN offering innovations in recent weeks.

Tokyo-based AIN is testing drones for the automated delivery of prescription medications, while UK-based Vodafone recently deployed its precision positioning technology to remotely track a drone to within just 10 centimetres of its location.

With reporting by Reuters

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