China’s DJI refutes allegations that Ukraine has leaked military positions to Russia

Chinese drone manufacturer DJI has denounced allegations that it leaked data on Ukrainian military positions to Russia as “completely false”, after a German retailer cited such information as a reason to take its products off the shelves.

The rejection followed Friday’s Twitter revelation of the removal by German electronics and domestic giant MediaMarkt in response to “information from various sources”, although it did not give any details of the information it has.

MediaMarkt said: “In the last few days, we have received more and more information from various sources that the Russian army is using products and data from the Chinese drone supplier DJI for military activities in Ukraine.”

On Wednesday, a Chinese firm spokesman said: “What we declared to be ‘completely untrue’ in our statement published yesterday is the allegation that DJI is actively supporting the Russian military with hardware and flight data.”

While the company noticed footage online indicating that the Russian military was using its products, the spokesman added, it could not confirm this and had no control over the use of its products.

In its Twitter statement on Saturday, DJI said: “We do not support any use that harms people’s lives, rights and interests,” adding: “DJI promotes civilian drone applications that benefit society.”

MediaMarkt, which operates more than 800 stores in 12 European countries and Turkey, did not say what information it had received about DJI.

“As a responsible company, we acted immediately and removed the manufacturer from our product range in groups until further notice,” it said on its official Twitter account on Friday.

MediaMarkt responded to a user who accused DJI of leaking GPS data from Ukrainian military positions to Russia.

“We will carefully examine further indications and developments,” it added.

It calls the move “a clear signal for the values ​​that have the highest priority for us”, which he said was attacked by Russia’s “aggressive” war against Ukraine.

Users of the Chinese drone giant’s products range from photography hobbies to US fire departments.

The firm found itself in an awkward position after Russia invaded Ukraine more than a month ago in what Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

While Western firms withdrew from Russia in protest, DJI, like many Chinese companies, continued to take a lead in Beijing’s stance on refraining from criticizing Moscow over the invasion.

Ukrainian officials and citizens accused DJI of leaking data about the Ukrainian army to Russia.

On March 16, Mykhailo Fedorov, the Minister of Digital Transformation, said he had asked the firm’s founder, Frank Wang, in a letter to sever ties with Russia, accusing his troops of using DJI products to navigate. missiles that kill Ukrainian civilians.

The next day, DJI responded on Twitter that its products, designed for civilian use, were unsuitable for military missions.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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