Drone manufacturer DJI Innovation Technology Co and Qianxun Spatial Intelligence Inc, a company that uses China’s homegrown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System for location and data analysis services, have announced a strategic partnership to promote the application of the navigation system in the drone industry…Full Article: China Daily Apr 2017

Key Point

  • DJI Technology’s RTK (real-time kinematic) MG-1S agricultural drone (launched in November 2016) utilizes farmland positioning and pesticide spraying applications with the support of services from Qianxun. Currently, the MG-1S drone can be used in 18 Chinese provinces and municipalities and costs CNY 23,000 [~USD 3,383].

ChinaAg Comments

  • In November 2016, DJI Technology launched an upgraded version of its MG-1 drone, the MG-1S. As of November 2016, DJI Technology has sold more than 2,500 Agras MG-1 agricultural drones and controls 70% of the Chinese agri-drone (farm) market. The company has more than 200 sales service offices in China. Its new MG-1S agricultural drone will be available in 2017 for CNY 42,000 (just over US$6,000) per unit.
  • In September 2016, Chinese media reported that agricultural drones were being used on 26,000 mu [~1,733 hectares] of land in Ningxia Hui Region.
  • In April 2016, the Vice President of DJI Technology stated that DJI would cooperate with various computer chip companies, but would also “keep a close eye on chip technology development.” As result, DJI was looking into using Chinese-produced computer chips.
  • In March 2016, DJI Technology announced they would train 10,000 people across China to operate agriculture-specific drones. Additionally, the Shenzhen-based company stated it would establish 100 after-sales service centers and offer subsidies (to ~10,000 people) boost the use of drones on farms.
  • As of early 2016, the market penetration of agricultural drones was 50% in the USA and Japan, but only 3% in China (~4,000 agricultural drones in use as of early 2016).
  • In November 2015, DJI launched its eight-rotor Agras MG-1, an agricultural UAV that can hold 10 liters (~2.6 gallons) of liquid (e.g. pesticides) and spray four hectares of farmland every hour.
  • In August 2015, California-based Intel (world’s largest PC chipmaker) invested US$60 million in Yuneec International, a Hong Kong-based drone manufacturer.
  • Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Shenzhen, southern China, DJI Technology is a leading Chinese manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
  • Launched in 2000, China’s Bei Dou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) is a global navigation satellite system and was the third such system to be launched after the USA’s GPS and Russia’s GLONASS systems.

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