China To Build Drone Hub in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District
Shenzhen, China. People in the west may not know much about this city bordering Hong Kong and home to over 20 million people, it’s not as famous as Shanghai or Beijing but it has developed rapidly since the 1980’s when it was included in the regions special economic zone. This lead to an influx of workers and special conditions that allowed it to grown into an impressive technology hub in a very short time. Shenzhen could well be called China’s answer to Silicon Valley and one thing it is well known for however, is that Shenzhen is the home to the world’s top drone manufacturers. Companies like DJI, AEE Aviation Technology, Zero Tech and Flypro have all chosen Shenzhen as their base – a great number of other companies focusing on producing unmanned aircraft. Interestingly enough, a big number of these giants – namely, DJI, AEE Aviation Technology, Smart Drone, Zero Tech and Flypo are all based in the same high-tech district of the city – Nanshan. In fact, the district is home to over 200 drone companies. This proved to be reason enough for the Nanshan District Government to draw plans of building a drone development and manufacturing hub in the area.
With the biggest names in the drone industry all dwelling right next door to each other, the decision does not come as a surprise.
DJI holds about 70% of the international UAV market and is also the proud producer of one of the world’s most popular drone models – DJI Phantom 3.
Smart Drone used to specialize in model aircraft but switched to drones in 2014 and has gained consumer popularity by focusing on extending drone fly time.
AEE Aviation Technology was the only drone company involved in drafting drone industrial standards with the Ministry of Public Security.
The exports of UAVs from Shenzhen have totaled at a whopping 472.1 million dollars in 2015 alone. In fact the Nanshan area accounts for 7 out of 10 drones produced in the world. Most of the flying gadgets destined or the US and Europe were manufactured in Nanshan District. The fact that this particular district has been chosen by so many drone makers can be explained by the fact that the area provides the manufacturers with convenient supply Chain. With more than 2,000 electronic pieces needed to assemble a drone, stable parts supply is key.
Nanshan is the city’s tech hub – with a great number of small electronics makers having their offices there or close by. Shenzhen is also home to a number of Smartphone companies and many of the sensors required in a drone such as accelerometers and motion sensors are the same as those you may find in a Smartphone. On top of this Shenzhen benefits from being close to HK and ports that help with dispatch allowing the drone companies easy access to global shipping.