According to several published reports, leading drone maker DJI is using the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic to restructure its business operations. According to a report at UAV Expert News, DJI dealer forums have been filling up with reports of employee firings:
As the virus spread worldwide, people on DJI dealer forums have been posting that DJI has been firing most of its employees in the US with the California and New York teams being hit the hardest. Long term employees, some of which have been with the company since 2012 and were key to the US supply chain providing the only support for US dealers, have vanished from the network and have reportedly been outright fired. The majority of the repairs in the US are done out of the LA office, which is now mostly shut down.
DJI is having trouble getting shipments to the United States and other markets, with supply of new product limited due to production interruptions, according to TechNode:
Products are reportedly being stopped at the US border for unknown reasons whilst DJI’s productive capacity in China has yet to reach pre-lockdown levels.
In an opposing report at Pandaily, the company’s public relations director Xie Tiandi said DJI is focused on supporting law enforcement around the world establish aerial surveillance programs to help combat the pandemic. Any discussion of layoffs is “ridiculous,” the report said.
“Right now, DJI is rushing to launch our next project,” Xie told Pandaily. “We are looking forward to giving our global customers a surprise in the near future, so we have no time to look into ridiculous or untrue rumors.”
The same report, however, quoted Chinese media firms like Sina Finance and AI Caijing that DJI is planning to cut at least 50% of jobs in the company.
DJI has not yet responded to an inquiry from the Dead Pixels Society.
In other DJI news, the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented customers from getting timely warranty service. In response, DJI updated its product warranty period. Products with an original warranty ending from March 14, 2020 to April 30, 2020, will have the warranty extended to April 30, 2020. The coverage area of the warranty service will remain the same.