Shenzhen in the grip of drone fever

Here is a data point that will likely surprise no one: Wang Lixin, vice mayor of Shenzhen, said today that the city is world No. 1 in production of drones. By the end of last year, there were more than 360 drone firms in the city generating more than CNY40 billion (US$5.8 billion) in sales, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported. 

He said this at the opening of one of the city’s biggest and most exciting festivals, the 2019 World Drone Conference and the 4th Shenzhen International Drone Exhibition. More than 400 domestic and foreign drone companies brought more than 1,000 drones to debut at the festival. Events include a drone aerial photography competition, an innovation and entrepreneurship competition, and, the highlight, a drone racing competition. 

The festival this year is expected to highlight developments in artificial intelligence, design innovation and industrial applications. Categories include drone operations for police work, fire-fighting, aerial photography, agricultural protection, surveying and mapping, logistics, and electric power.

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