Are Concerns Over Autel Robotics Drones Just Another Echo of Ongoing Suspicions?

Remember when Shenzhen DJI Sciences and Technologies Ltd., aka DJI, dominated headlines as a supposed “threat”? They’ve been a fixture in every electronics store, representing the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) stronghold on the U.S. drone market.

With over 90% of the U.S. hobby drone market in their pocket, DJI’s influence was hard to deny. By December 2020, they found themselves on the U.S. entities list, signaling Washington’s concern.

Now, in an almost predictable sequel, comes Autel Robotics, another rising star from the PRC. As of December 2021, their drones held 15% of the U.S. market share, aided by PRC government funding and tax incentives.

Their popularity even extends to American law enforcement agencies and departments like Agriculture.

But here’s the recurring theme: “PRC drones pose an unacceptable national security risk because all Chinese companies, by law,…