Shanghai sets up RMB 500 million fund to attract drone makers to the city

By Chris Udemans
1 min read

Shanghai has formed a RMB 500 million ($70 million) fund to boost its drone industry and lure drone makers to the city with subsidies and preferential policies.

Why it matters: Shanghai aims to become a global tech powerhouse. The city has already laid out plans to become an artificial intelligence hub and has set its sights on becoming a world “e-sports capital.”

  • Home to DJI, the world’s largest drone maker, the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen is traditionally seen as the center of China’s drone industry.
  • Shanghai this year set up an AI alliance with a number of China’s biggest tech companies, including Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba, aiming to boost its focus on emerging technologies.

Details: Shanghai’s Jinshan District has implemented 18 policies to attract businesses to the city, including covering up to 20% of a firm’s budget to build research and development centers in the city.

  • Drone makers that choose to build their headquarters in Jinshan can apply for up to RMB 5 million in subsidies to cover the cost of building their offices.
  • The city also hopes to attract talent by offering people who work at a Jinshan-based drone company up to RMB 600,000 to buy an apartment.
  • The new measures were announced at the East China Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Base Innovative Development Summit Forum on Tuesday.

Context: Jinshan hopes to attract up to 100 domestic and international drone makers by 2021.

  • China’s industry ministry expects the country’s drone market to be worth RMB 60 billion by next year, expanding to RMB 180 billion by 2025.
  • Drone development aligns with the country’s Made in China 2025 Initiative, which aims to move China up the industrial value chain and away from traditional manufacturing.