Chinese industrial design software companies rush to help DJI despite US ban


DJI Photo: VCG

US software company Figma has reportedly started severing ties with Chinese unicorn drone DJI in line with US sanctions, but several Chinese software companies have been quick to respond, promising to lend a hand to DJI to minimize the impact of the outbreak. denial of access from the United States.

Still, controversies remain over whether Figma’s Chinese lookalikes would be powerful enough to meet DJI’s needs.

In an email sent to DJI, Figma said that he had learned that DJI was on the sanctions list issued by the United States and that he could no longer provide the company with access to its software in accordance with the U.S. laws, the China Securities Journal reported Sunday. .

Figma decided to freeze DJI’s accounts, read the email, adding that “should DJI ever be removed from the sanctioned parity list, your access may be restored.”

On Saturday, JsDesign said on its Weibo account that it had verified the access ban that affected some domestic internet companies and designers, affecting the security of their design assets.

DJI did not comment on the information when contacted by the Global Times.

Figma did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As DJI appears to find itself, like another Shenzhen-based tech giant, Huawei, in the crosshairs of the US government’s unilateral moves, many domestic alternatives to Figma’s offerings have reached out to DJI.

Shenzhen-listed software company Wondershare Technology is among those reaching out.

A domestically-developed collaborative interface design tool, Pixso, launched a feature on Saturday to support Figma file uploads. The move is intended to provide assistance to creators and businesses banned by Figma and protect their design assets, the company said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday.

Compared with foreign software, the software developed by the Chinese team can meet the needs of local businesses more quickly with a Chinese interface and local servers, making web page design faster and more secure, according to the release.

In addition to interface design software, Wondershare is making every effort to produce software that can replace foreign products and create a new ecosystem of domestic software as part of China’s efforts to promote innovation in technology. information, the company noted in the statement.

Shares of Wondershare in the tech-heavy ChiNext market rose 15.2% on Monday, arguably a silver lining in an A-share market plunge across the board. The ChiNext index lost 3.56% while the flagship Shanghai index lost 2.61%.

The national market for collaborative interface design tools is still in its infancy, but the global market and users are growing. Domestic software makers including Pixso have dramatically increased the speed of their iterations over the past six months after securing more capital market funding, Huang Yong, founder of Pixso, told the Global Times on Monday.

Faced with Figma’s decision to cut companies blacklisted by the United States, national brands reacted quickly. In the future, the global online design software market will see more fierce competition among multiple brands, Huang said.

Wondershare is not alone. Domestic design tool MasterGo, under online product design collaboration platform Lanhu, has officially integrated Figma document import functionality, a staff member of the company confirmed to the Global Times on Monday.

Compared to Figma’s English-language system, MasterGo is an interface design tool for Chinese designers, with a Chinese system language that can help domestic designers get started quickly, according to the company.

JsDesign, for its part, has also offered to help individuals and businesses affected by the US measure with transferring and backing up Figma files.

DJI is one of many companies that uses Figma software, which is like a brush for corporate design.

The San Francisco-based software building platform that lets customers collaborate on software “has raised new funding at a $10 billion valuation,” according to a Bloomberg report in June 2021.

There would be downsides for local businesses if access to Figma were banned, but the overall impact could be managed, a Beijing-based user interface designer familiar with the tool told the Global Times on Monday. .

“The [Figma] the software is replaceable. The function could be replaced by basic drawing and design tools,” he said.

An unidentified designer who previously worked for a famous global internet company, quoted by the National Business Daily on Monday, said that when hit with a Figma ban, the only solution for designers and companies would be to switch to other design tools, with national software. acting as a Plan B option.

However, the functionality of home software is not as extensive as Figma, which means that a mix of software tools would be required to operate in the absence of Figma, leading to increased costs and compromised efficiency. , according to the designer, adding that the design software lags behind Figma in terms of ecosystem.

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