If the topic of drones comes up, you will probably think of DJI. In fact, there are over 300 drone companies in the southern Chinese city Shenzhen.
“Shenzhen has become the global distribution center of drones,” Yang Jincai, president of the drone association of Shenzhen, told the National Business Daily newspaper last Sunday,
“There are over 300 drone companies in Shenzhen. Their annual sales have reached RMB 20 billion (USD 3 billion), accounting for 70% of the global small-sized civilian drone market,” he said.
The local government of Shenzhen very supportive of the development of a drone industry in Shenzhen. Additionally, the drone industry association of Shenzhen has also set relevant local industrial standards, which, in Yang’s opinion, should eventually become the “international standards”.
“90% of the world’s drone products, especially consumer drones, are shipped from Shenzhen to other areas of China, and even to other countries,” said Yang.
According to the Shenzhen customs authorities, drones worth RMB three billion were exported from Shenzhen in 2015. The drones have been used in areas including aerial photography, plant protection and fire control. According to a report by the American market research firm IDC in May, shipments of drones for the China aerial photography market surpassed 80 thousand units in Q1 2016.
The Shenzhen-based 2006-founded DJI is believed to be the world’s largest drone manufacturer, whose sales revenue has reached USD one billion in 2015, taking up 70% of the global consumer drone market. Another notable player is Guangzhou-based EHang, some of whose drones can even carry passengers.
The heat of the drone market has also attracted the attention of other industries. Chinese internet giant Tencent worked in cooperation with a Chinese drone maker, and launched their DOBBY drone in May. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi also released its first drone in the same month.
(Top photo is screen shot from dji.com/cn)