Aum’s CEO says China could blacklist drones after the U.S. bans DJI

Parrot’s ANAFIAi drone that runs on 4G.

Source: Parrot

French drone maker Aum Boss believes that China can blacklist his company in the same way that the US government blacklisted rival Chinese company DJI.

“It may happen,” Parrot co-founder and CEO Henri Seydoux told CNBC when it advertised its new ANAFI Ai professional drone, which can be controlled by 4G. The Chinese embassy in London did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

“It’s very difficult to sell a drone in China,” Seydoux said in a phone call earlier this month, adding that selling software isn’t easy either.

“Aum sells a lot of drone software, and the Chinese market is where you’re under great pressure,” he said.

The US government blacklisted DJI and dozens of other Chinese companies in December, increasing tensions between Beijing and Washington in the process.

Seydoux said he believes the DJI blacklist has had some impact on Parrot’s sales. “But it’s hard to read, probably because of Covid and the market cycle, as the market itself has declined over the past year.”

Aum’s revenue fell from € 76 million ($ 90 million) in 2019 to € 57 million in 2020.

DJI said DJI doesn’t seem to suffer as much US sanctions as Chinese tech giant Huawei.

Inspection drone

Smartphone-controlled ANA FIAi drones are intended for companies that need to inspect infrastructure such as power lines, railroads, bridges, and buildings.

It has a 40-megapixel Sony camera that allows you to zoom in on a specific point to see if it’s okay.

“It looks like a plastic insect,” Seydoux said in connection with the appearance of the drone.

Unlike most other drones, Parrot’s latest machines don’t require pilots to be in so-called line-of-sight. In fact, Lyon people could control one of the drones in Paris if the coverage of the 4G network was sufficient.

“There is no further limit on the distance of wireless links,” says Seydoux. “You are piloting a device that is part of the Internet.”

However, for this reason, certain security considerations need to be considered. “It’s very important to have an encrypted link between you and the drone, and to make sure the drone is sending accurate data that doesn’t change to anyone,” says Seydoux, the new drone. Added that there is a special tip. The location where the encryption key is stored.

Founded over 20 years ago as a telecommunications company, the company has begun selling Bluetooth, voice recognition and automotive phone systems. It moved to drones a few years ago and now employs about 450 people, half of which are in France and the other half in Switzerland.

Parrot drones can cost hundreds to thousands of euros. The price of ANA FIA i has not been disclosed yet.

According to Seydoux, Parrot sells existing drones to millions of consumers and tens of thousands to businesses and other organizations, including police, firefighters, farmers and inspectors in the target market. I will.

According to Seidou, US, French and Swiss military units are using parrot drones for reconnaissance, and his company will never equip the drones with weapons.

“We are against it,” he said. “I believe killer robots should be avoided altogether. I believe that putting weapons on drones is like a crime against humanity. It’s as banned as using weaponized gas. Should be. “ Aum’s CEO says China could blacklist drones after the U.S. bans DJI

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