China’s restriction on drone and supercomputer exports is intended to protect national security and strengthen export controls on sensitive items, said a spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Aug 4.
Including drones and high-performance computers in export controls will help provide a safe trade environment for companies, promote healthy development of the industries and better fulfill international obligations, said MOC spokesman Shen Danyang at a monthly press conference.
Under the new rule announced by the MOC and the General Administration of Customs, starting from Aug 15, companies that make certain drones and computers specified on the MOC website will have to register with commerce authorities and obtain a license before exporting them.
The items include drones capable of flight for longer than an hour.
The companies will need to provide copies of export contracts and documents indicating the technical specifications of the products and who will use them, according to the announcement.
Commerce authorities will inspect exports of these items, and those who violate the rule will be given administrative penalties or be held criminally liable.
China exported 160,000 civilian drones worth 750 million yuan ($122.5 million) from January to May. The number of drones was 69 times more than in the same period last year, while their sales value was 55 times that of the same period in 2014. Almost all of them came from the southern city of Shenzhen.