| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

US lawmakers seek probe of Chinese drone maker Autel Robotics

Citing national security concerns, a bipartisan group of 11 U.S. House legislators requested the Biden administration on Thursday to look into and perhaps sanction Chinese drone manufacturer Autel Robotics.

The leading Democrat on the House China Select Committee, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Republican head Mike Gallagher signed the letter, which requested an investigation into Autel Robotics, a subsidiary of Autel Intelligent Technology, by the departments of Commerce, Defense, and Treasury.

The letter said Autel Robotics is openly affiliated with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “and poses a direct threat to U.S. national security as local law enforcement and state and local governments are purchasing and operating Autel drones, potentially exposing sensitive data across the country.”

The Pentagon said it would respond to the lawmakers’ letter. Commerce and Treasury did not immediately comment. Autel could not immediately be reached for comment.

Another signer of the letter, Republican Representative Elise Stefanik, said, “Autel drones made in Communist China present an unacceptable national security risk and should not be allowed to operate in America.”

  • Reuters