BEIJING: China has imposed strict restrictions on the exports of drones in the backdrop of the controversy over Pakistan's claims of shooting down an "Indian spy drone" along the LoC, which was later found out to be a China-made UAV.
Chinese tech companies will have to get official approval before exporting powerful drones or computers from August 15, as the government fears they could compromise national security, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.
Under the new rule announced by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and the General Administration of Customs on Friday, companies making certain drones and computers specified on the MOC website will have to register with the Ministry and get a licence before exporting them.
The items include unmanned aerial vehicles with a flight duration longer than one hour.
The companies will now need to provide copies of export contracts, and documents showing the products' technical specifications and by whom they will be used.
The status of the their application will be notified within 45 working days, said the MOC.
Commerce authorities will inspect exports of these items and violators will be given administrative penalties or be held criminally liable, it said.
The announcement which came in the backdrop of last month's controversy over Pakistan's claims of shooting down a spy drone along the LoC, however, made no reference to it.
The allegations put Islamabad in a spot after the Chinese official media confirmed that the drone was made in China, backing Indian stance that it was of Chinese origin.
While denying flying a drone along the LoC, India had said that such type of drones were not part of its inventory.
Later, Chinese firm DJI, which manufactured the drone, said aerial vehicle was not sold to any government, reinforcing Indian government's stand that it was not in its inventory.
DJI, announced that governments are not their direct customers, in response that the alleged Indian "spy drone" shot down by Pakistan was made by it.
The drone shot down by Pakistani military was recognised in Beijing as the Chinese made DJI phantom 3, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC)-run People's Daily had said, adding that it cost about USD 1200.