More than 80% of commercial drones in the world are made by Chinese companies, which created the industry: In the early 2000s, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were used mostly by the military.

Drone applications now range widely from aerial photography and ecommerce deliveries to power line inspection and surveillance. China is the center of this drone boom: Industry estimates place the number of registered companies involved in the drone business at 70,000.

Shenzhen-based DJI commands 70% of the world’s consumer drone market alone. But as the market continues to grow, more players will undoubtedly enter. In 2017, China produced 2.9 million consumer drones, according to the Shenzhen UAV Industry Association, a rise of 67% year-on-year. China’s drone industry was valued at $67 billion in 2020, up 16% from 2019.

DJI’s dominance of the consumer segment has forced the thousands of other drone manufacturers in China to fight for survival in the wilderness of commercial applications. The result is a flourishing and highly creative industry sector. Partnerships with various institutions — law enforcement, advertising agencies, energy companies, governments, the military, and technology companies — are now standard among drone companies. More than any other country, the drone is latching itself onto the very fabric of China’s economy: Ecommerce giant, China’s second-largest online retailer, for example, is already integrating its drones with its delivery networks to cover 100 rural villages. (In the U.S., Amazon’s own drone program, known as “Prime Air,” is still in its early testing phase.)

China is also a major player in the global military drone trade. Over the past decade, it has delivered 220 armed drones to 16 countries, including Nigeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, according to the research institute Sipri. China remains fifth behind the U.S. in overall arms exports, but it has become the go-to drone dealer for the world.

Chinese military drones are produced by state-owned companies, in contrast to consumer drones, whose producers are almost all privately funded. But the government is increasingly involving itself in the commercial drone sector. It has opened airspace, known as Unmanned Civil Aviation Experimental Zones (UCAEZs), to commercial drone makers like EHang (Nasdaq: EH) — the only publicly listed drone company out of China — to test aerial tourism, aerial firefighting, search and rescue, and more. The government wants its drone industry to grow to $27 billion in total output by 2025.

So who are the players in the Chinese drone market?

Utilizing Chinese-language sources, SupChina has compiled information on the most important drone companies in China. They include companies involved in drone R&D, drone manufacturing, military uses, and drone services and accessories. Applications are organized into the following categories:

  • Military
  • Entertainment
  • Agriculture
  • Public safety
  • Disaster alleviation
  • Firefighting and emergency response
  • Aquaculture
  • Photography
  • Infrastructure management
  • Forestry
  • Environmental protection
  • Smart city management
  • Logistics
  • Passenger transport
  • Topographic analysis
  • Drone accessories

List of Chinese drone makers

Roughly organized by application and size (click to jump to each entry; to jump back here, click on any logo):

  1. DJI
  2. High Great
  3. Shenzhen Damoda
  4. EHang
  5. Autoflight
  6. Huimingjie
  7. China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA)
  8. Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC)
  9. Geneinno
  10. Grepow
  11. Walkera
  12. INNNO
  13. Jincheng Aviation
  14. AEE
  15. Bitalltech
  16. Micromulticopter Aviation (MMC)
  17. Aerofugia
  18. Zingto
  19. Air Dwing
  20. Volitation
  21. Soarability
  22. Yuanmu Holding

Source: SupChina

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache. Für die Inhalte ist der UAV DACH e.V. nicht verantwortlich.