GT Voice: DJI’s sales halt in Russia, Ukraine shows West’s menacing of Chinese firms
Published: Apr 27, 2022 08:12 PM


Chinese drone maker DJI Technology Co said that it would temporarily suspend sales in both Russia and Ukraine "to help ensure no one uses our drones in combat," Reuters reported on Wednesday, calling the Shenzhen-based firm the first major Chinese company to cite the conflict in suspending business in Russia. Some other US media outlets also hailed what they described as a rare move by a Chinese firm since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

Details behind DJI's decision-making remain sketchy, but for anyone who has been following the relentless pressuring campaign launched by a mob of Western officials and media outlets to force Chinese businesses into taking sides over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it should be obvious that DJI's move is the direct result of such blackmail tactics. 

In other words, it is not the conflict per se, but the West's intensifying pressuring campaign that poses the biggest threat to Chinese companies operating in Russia and Ukraine. And it is the West's unilateral, reckless economic sanctions against Russia that poses the biggest risk for Chinese businesses. 

Under such circumstances, it is understandable that some Chinese businesses seek to find ways to avoid potential complications, as DJI clearly did. Undoubtedly, Chinese businesses are under enormous pressure to maintain normal business operations in Russia. 

In the case of DJI, Western officials and media outlets have repeatedly leveled unsubstantiated claims about the use of the firm's drones in the conflict, even though the company has made it clear that it does not have control over the use of its products. Such claims are ridiculous and grossly unfair. It begs the question: what company in the world can control the use of its products?

As a private company facing huge pressure from powerful Western officials and media outlets, DJI seems to have made what it considers to be a balanced decision that avoids geopolitics. The company did not just suspend sales in the Russian market, but also the Ukrainian market - clearly a balancing act. However, Chinese companies should not be forced to make such decisions in the first place. 

Based on geopolitical calculations alone, the West is clearly going all out to punish Russia; however, China has maintained an objective and fair position in the Russia-Ukraine conflict as well as normal business ties with both countries. The West has no right whatsoever to force China or Chinese businesses to take any side. This should be common sense, but arrogant Western officials and media outlets, particularly those in the US, are used to bullying others at will. 

Such bullying tactics cannot be left unchecked, when they are hurting China's legitimate rights and interests. Just like bloodsuckers, once Western politicians and media outlets taste blood, they will not stop until they find more Chinese companies to attack. As they pointed out, DJI is the first major Chinese company to suspend business operations over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but more Chinese firms could face even greater pressure from the West. Such a trend must be stopped, or Chinese interests are at risk.    

Chinese officials have repeatedly vowed to take all necessary measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies. Unlike some US politicians, Chinese officials do not make empty promises. Protecting Chinese nationals and Chinese interests overseas is a paramount task for the Chinese government. Given China's track record in carrying out that task, it would be surprising if officials have not discussed various ways of protecting Chinese interests against the blackmail tactics of the US and its Western allies. If the West moves further to hurt Chinese interests, it is almost certain that there will be countermeasures from China.