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Seeing the Unseen

Local university graduate Frank Wang realised his flying dream in Hong Kong and turned it into a multi-million-dollar business

Shenzhen DJI Technology Co Ltd (DJI), the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer, unmanned-aerial vehicles (UAV), began its legendary story here. Born in Hangzhou, Wang was an electrical and computer engineering graduate at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) when he founded DJI.

Seeing the Unseen

“I would not have achieved what I achieve today if I had not come to Hong Kong. And I would not have set up DJI if I had stayed in the Mainland, or had gone to the US,” Wang, Founder and CEO of DJI, said.

Wang’s childhood dream was not about academic achievement, but about the design and development of remote-controlled helicopters. In 2005, his final-year project was a flight-control system for a remote-controlled helicopter. He designed and manufactured the prototype, which unexpectedly received its first commercial order. In 2006, he founded DJI with two other students. Three years later, DJI launched its first milestone product, the XP 3.1 flight control system. In 2012, the Spreading Wings series for professional aerial photography and filmmaking hit the market. The UAV market took off officially in 2013 when DJI introduced the groundbreaking Phantom 2 Vision. This was a huge success: For the first time, a quadcopter that featured an integrated camera system became available at a reasonable price for the consumer market.

Today, DJI has a 70-percent share of the global UAV market and is one of the world’s most valuable startups, with some estimates putting it at a valuation of as much as US$10 billion.

Headquartered in Shenzhen, DJI’s global operations currently span the US, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong. Its revolutionary products and solutions have been chosen by customers in more 100 countries for applications in film, advertising, construction, fire-fighting, farming and many other industries. Amazing photos and videos, and high-end professional imagery, taken from previously unimaginable angles are being captured every day, in every corner of the world, using DJI products.

To support the rapid growth of its international business, DJI set up an R&D team in Hong Kong Science Park in 2015.

“With leading research universities in the region, an international talent pool, a world-class science and technology park providing comprehensive R&D capabilities, an open international business environment, and its close proximity to our headquarters and manufacturing base in Shenzhen, Hong Kong is a natural choice for us to set up our R&D team,” Wang said.

Friday, July 10, 2015

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Fast Facts

  • Founded by HKUST graduate Frank Wang in 2006
  • A world leader in commercial and recreational unmanned aerial vehicles for aerial photography and videography
  • Employs 3,000 staff worldwide

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