Phones and drones - China's risk-takers who rule the world

Updated: 2016-01-03 09:42


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Phones and drones - China's risk-takers who rule the world

A group of people pose for a picture by using a drone camera in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BEIJING - From a company founded by a college student in 2006 to a global leader in the civilian drone industry, the story of Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) illustrates just what a true commitment to innovation can do.

"The key to innovation is not 1-to-n, it's the 0-to-1 part that makes all the difference," said Wang Tao, DJI's founder.

"First-mover advantages are difficult to lose when you are in the market with groundbreaking technology." he said.

In 2010, DJI sales were a respectable 3 million yuan ($460,000). In 2014, that number jumped to nearly 3 billion yuan. DJI is on track to make a billion dollars in 2015.

The Shenzhen company sells nearly 70 percent of the world's civilian drones, and 80 percent of its revenue is generated outside China.

DJI's success story is not an isolated case. Xiaomi, a mobile phone firm founded in 2010 became the third-biggest seller of mobile phones worldwide in 2014, the same year that Xiaomi came 35th on a list of the world's most innovative companies compiled by The Boston Consulting Group.

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