The new regulations from the Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs are aimed in particular at drones which can fly for more than one hour and at heights of more than 15,420 metres (50,000 feet).
In the first five months of 2015, China exported some 160,000 civilian drones, a jump of 70 percent year-on-year, worth more than $120 million (roughly Rs. 767 crores), the official China Daily newspaper reported last month.
Leading Chinese maker DJI dominates 70 of the global market. But this manufacturing giant has ensured its products “were not involved in these (new) export controls”, according to a statement reported by Chinese media, suggesting the government was mainly interested in restricting exports of military technology.
The tightening of regulations comes two weeks after an incident in disputed Kashmir in which the Pakistani army claimed to have shot down an Indian “spy drone”, reportedly Chinese-made.
China is also likely tightening controls on exports of powerful computers as it looks to maintain its edge in the global supercomputer battle long dominated by US-Japanese rivalry.