Shenzhen has become the world’s capital of drones, taking up a 70% market share of the global consumer drone market with over 300 drone companies located in the coastal city with combined annual sales of RMB20 billion (US$3 billion).
According to a report by National Business Daily, there were over 400 drone makers and research firms in China as of December 2015. Of those, over 300 were based in Shenzhen, including the world’s largest drone maker DJI.
Three years ago, the Shenzhen government named drones as one of its key support industries in the Development Plan of Aerospace Industry of Shenzhen 2013-2020. Each year, the government selects numerous drone companies to support, with a focus on drone designs, testing, assembly and drone-human communications.
The China UAV Industry Alliance, a local unmanned aerial vehicles industry association, has launched a series of industry standards in 2015 to facilitate the development of the drone market.
Its aim is to establish a set of industry standards in Shenzhen, then to broaden them to national levels, says the reports quoting an association official.
Over 90% of drones in the world are made in Shenzhen, especially in the consumer drone market, says the official, saying that drones could be used more commonly in areas of police work, agriculture, anti-terrorism and environmental protection.
As drones are applied to more sectors, the drones market is expected to reach RMB200 billion (US$31 billion) in China in the next ten years, according to the article.
Chinese venture capital has rushed to back numerous drone makers, including SZ DJI Technology Co., backed by Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), as well as Flypro Aerospace Technology, Yuneec International, and Ehang Technology.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc. also launched its own branded Mi Drone in February.