Figma’s Chinese rivals start offering alternatives as the design tool giant blocks drone maker DJI

March 15, 2022 0 Comments

Figma, a collaborative design software, nicknamed the “Google Docs for designers”, has recently begun freezing accounts associated with Chinese drone maker, DJI. The US-based software company was valued at US$10 billion last year and considered a rival to industry titan Adobe.Inc. due to its cloud-based functions. 

According to a screenshot of Figma’s email to its users, Figma can no longer provide DJI access to their software due to DJI being on the U.S. sanction list. Figma also states that files stored in the cloud would not be deleted, and access to the software can be restored once DJI gets removed from the sanction list. 

A screen shot of Figma’s email, noticing users their accounts will be froze. Photo credit: iFeng Tech

After Figma drops DJI and other Chinese companies which appeared on the U.S. sanction lists as clients, Chinese collaborative design software makers Lanhu and JsDesign respectively released announcements, saying that they have added “import from Figma” functions, allowing users to seamlessly import Figma files and they will provide technical support for users who need to mass import files. 

The current U.S. sanctions list includes 611 Chinese companies, such as Huawei, 360, SenseTime, DJI, and numerous tech companies. These tech companies have been blacklisted by the U.S. due to their alleged ties to China’s military. 

The banning of Chinese clients who appear in the U.S. sanction list could negatively impact Figma, as the majority of Figma’s users are based outside the U.S., where it also gets most of its revenue, according to BNN Bloomberg citing Figma cofounder Dylan Field. Figma’s move could possibly startle its foreign clients, prompting them to migrate to alternative softwares.

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