Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced the Countering CCP Drones Act, legislation that would add Chinese drone company Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Covered List, meaning that DJI technologies would be prohibited from operating on U.S. communications infrastructure.

DJI poses an unacceptable national security risk, as Chinese law provides the Chinese government with power to compel DJI to participate in and assist in its espionage activities. The FCC has implemented changes to ban equipment authorizations for companies on a Covered List of communications equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security of the United States. This bill would add DJI to that list.

Over 50% of drones sold in the U.S. are made by Chinese-based company DJI, and they are the most popular drone in use by public safety agencies. It has been reported that the Chinese government is an investor in DJI, directly contradicting DJI’s public statements regarding their relationship with the Chinese government.

“DJI drones pose the national security threat of TikTok, but with wings," Stefanik said. "The possibility that DJI drones could be equipped to send live imagery of military installations, critical infrastructure, and the personal lives of American citizens to China poses too great a threat. Allowing this practice to continue in the U.S. is playing with fire. This Chinese-controlled company cannot be allowed to continue to operate in the U.S."

“DJI drones pose a serious national security threat and belong nowhere near the federal government. The Department of Defense has recognized this and acted accordingly, and now it’s time for Congress and the rest of federal government to follow suit. Legislation like my American Security Drone Act helps mitigate the DJI threat by preventing the federal government from procuring these drones, and the Countering CCP Drones Act builds on this effort by preventing these devices from benefitting from Federal Communications Commission subsidies and operating on FCC infrastructure. Given DJI’s ties to the CCP and their military, as well as its complicity in the CCP’s ongoing genocide, it’s long past time for Congress to take this important action,” said Congressman Mike Gallagher.

“DJI drones and the surveillance technology on board these systems are collecting vast amounts of sensitive data—everything from high-resolution images of critical U.S. infrastructure to facial recognition technology and remote sensors that can measure an individual’s body temperature and heart rate. Indeed, U.S. intelligence services have warned that DJI poses a serious national security threat due to the level of sensitive information it collects and the potential for Beijing to access that data. Despite mounting evidence, the U.S. has lacked a consistent and comprehensive approach to addressing the potential threats posed by a company that might be operating as a Huawei on wings. That would end by passing the Countering CCP Drones Act. So I applaud Congresswoman Stefanik and Congressman Gallagher for their strong leadership and work to advance America’s national security in light of the threats posed by Communist China. This legislation is a vital step towards ensuring that Americans’ sensitive information does not fall into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.

Currently, Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou, and Dahua are entities included on the FCC’s Covered list. Adding DJI to the Covered List would be consistent with actions taken throughout the U.S. Government, including:

  • In August 2017, an Intelligence Bulletin from a Department of Homeland Security Field Office stated DJI is likely providing sensitive U.S. data to the Chinese Government.
  • In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, Congress banned the Department of Defense from purchasing and using drones and components manufactured in China.
  • In December 2020, the Department of Commerce added DJI to its “Entity List” for its role in supporting China’s human rights abuses.
  • In July 2021, the Department of Defense stated mitigating the threats posed by DJI is a priority for the Department. 
  • In December 2021, the Department of the Treasury identified DJI as part of the Chinese Military-Industrial Complex, specifically due to their support of biometric surveillance and tracking of ethnic and religious minorities in China. 

Read full text of the bill here.