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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

AliExpress has stopped selling Chinese drones to Russian users

Online marketplace AliExpress shut down the sale of drones from Chinese companies to Russian buyers, and drones purchased earlier turned out to be feature-limited. First attention to this drew CopterTime telegram channel.

“DJI, Fimi, Hubsan products for Russia have become unavailable on Aliexpress. Drones, spare parts, batteries, cases, goggles and even accessories are no longer available for purchase,” the post reads.

The devices can still be found via a search on the site, however, when accessing the product sheet, Russian users see an error message saying “There is no such page”, RTVI was convinced. Portal Remarksthat pages with drones on AliExpress open not only to buyers in Russia, but also in Belarus.

Additionally, DJI deleted drone control applications from the Russian AppStore. How informed telegram channel Mash, the company responded to complaints from Russians that they no longer provide their services to them, and also do not provide “services for military activities”.

Official DJI Distributor in Russia explain RBC that the Chinese company’s supply of drones to the country could be carried out through parallel imports. “Dji has not shipped drones to Russia since April last year, and you can order the company’s products from the distributor’s website,” a company representative told the publication.

In the Russian research center “Aeroscript”, which notably develops software for drones, said “Izvestia” that DJI is the most popular brand of drones among external pilots, and 80% of the entire fleet of amateur drones in Russia are represented by the products of this company. According to the company, DJI devices are used not only for photo and video shooting, but also for search and rescue of people. In particular, they are used by employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, as well as volunteers of the search and rescue team “LizaAlert”.

DJI (Dajiang Innovation) was founded in 2006 and is based in Shenzhen, China. The company produces multicopters, microcontrollers and video equipment. By data Brandessence, DJI Technology’s share of the global civilian drone market in 2020 was 56.7%, or $4.32 billion. suspended activities in Russia, explaining this decision as “an internal reassessment of compliance requirements in various jurisdictions”.

In “Aeroscript” newspaper “Kommersant” reportedwho have developed an alternative to the DJI application for controlling drones – the Skyvault platform, it is available in the App Store. The company said that with the help of “Nebosvod” it was possible to control, among other things, drones from a Chinese manufacturer.

In a conversation with RTVI, military observer Vlad Ugolny noted that the worst consequence of the shutdown of Chinese companies’ drone sales for Russians would be a slight increase in helicopter prices.

“According to what is known at the moment, this is not an initiative of the Chinese side, but in our country the Russian “Alik” has decided to demilitarize. Accordingly, this problem is solved by the work of state security. The Chinese have taken a number of formal measures to prevent the use of drones for military purposes by both sides. They do not want more, and the drone trade continues If Aliexpress is blocked, there will be other trading platforms or intermediaries,” he said.

Aeronet NTI market expert Vitaly Dolgov in an interview with Izvestia suggested that some users are likely to refuse to buy these drones now because ordering them from AliExpress was cheaper than buying them from retail stores. . He also doubted that wholesale buyers would actively use this market to buy drones, as there are other buying channels.

Vadim Istomin, the principal engineer of the NTI Competence Center based at MSTU, in turn admitted that the disappearance of drones from AliExpress could be due to the geopolitical situation in the world. At the same time, he is convinced that such a situation is a good incentive for the development of the domestic segment of high-tech electronics.

China produces over 80% of the world’s civilian drones, with DJI producing most of them. Former Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Army General Yuri Baluyevsky, in the author’s preface to the book “Alien Wars: A New Paradigm” published by the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST ) underlinethat “simple Chinese commercial quadrocopters have made a real revolution in the use of traditional cannon and rocket artillery, almost completely solving the age-old problem of reconnaissance, target designation and adjustment of fire artillery for that”.

According to the general, when adjusted with the help of a drone constantly hovering over the target area, it became possible to use artillery with conventional projectiles with accuracy and efficiency comparable to firing ammunition precision guided. Including, the number of shells and guns needed for destruction has decreased sharply, he emphasizes.

“This, ironically, contributed to the (most likely, still temporary) return of traditional artillery to the pedestal of the god of war in a value comparable to its value in World War I,” Baluyevsky writes.

The former Russian Chief of Staff believes that DJI’s Mavic quadcopter has become a true symbol of modern warfare in principle.

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