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Bulletins

DJI and SMIC have been added to the U.S. government blacklist

The world's largest consumer drone manufacturer, DJI, and SMIC, one of the largest chipmakers, have both been added to the U.S. government's buying blacklist, Reuters reported today.


The ban is an extension of the country's ban on Huawei's products, and likely will have dire implications for DJI's ability to sell its products in big-box stores and on sites like Amazon moving forward. Both SMIC and DJI had previously captured the ire of the U.S. government, with the Chinese government saying in September when news of a potential sanction on the chipmaker that the U.S. was "blatantly bullying" Chinese companies.

Government concerns over DJI date back to 2017, when the Army claimed the drones may be helping the Chinese government spy on the U.S. Those claims have been constantly refuted by DJI, but the Department of Defense issued a ban on purchasing off-the-shelf consumer drones in 2018. Since then, non-Chinese drone manufacturers have set up U.S.-based operations in the hopes of manufacturing drones to sell to the government and police that became hesitant to purchase DJI's.

There's no guarantee that the Biden administration will continue Trump's sanctions once sworn in, however.

"DJI is disappointed in the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision. Customers in America can continue to buy and use DJI products normally," a company spokesperson told Protocol. "DJI remains committed to developing the industry's most innovative products that define our company and benefit the world."

Big Tech benefits from Biden’s sweeping immigration actions

Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai praised President Biden's immigration actions, which read like a tech industry wishlist.

Newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden signed two immigration-related executive orders on Wednesday.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Immediately after being sworn in as president Wednesday, Joe Biden signed two pro-immigration executive orders and delivered an immigration bill to Congress that reads like a tech industry wishlist. The move drew enthusiastic praise from tech leaders, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

President Biden nullified several of former-President Trump's most hawkish immigration policies. His executive orders reversed the so-called "Muslim ban" and instructed the attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which the Trump administration had sought to end. He also sent an expansive immigration reform bill to Congress that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals and make it easier for foreign U.S. graduates with STEM degrees to stay in the United States, among other provisions.

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Emily Birnbaum

Emily Birnbaum ( @birnbaum_e) is a tech policy reporter with Protocol. Her coverage focuses on the U.S. government's attempts to regulate one of the most powerful industries in the world, with a focus on antitrust, privacy and politics. Previously, she worked as a tech policy reporter with The Hill after spending several months as a breaking news reporter. She is a Bethesda, Maryland native and proud Kenyon College alumna.

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