​Export of Chinese-made drones increases

Recent data shows that China's drone exports were up by more than ninefold between January and November 2015.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The export of Chinese-made drones for civilians has increased more than ninefold.

Customs data, published on Sunday, shows that between January and November 2015, China's drone exports were up 9.2 times, putting the total exports at a value of 2.7 billion yuan ($413.3 million).

The figures also reveal that 43 percent of these exports pass through Hong Kong before being shipped to Europe and North America, state-owned Xinhua agency reported.

China currently has around 400 drone manufacturers, and controls nearly 70 percent of the world market in this sector.

Civilian drones, initially used for photography and video shooting, are now increasingly used in fields like security and agriculture, as well as for recreational purposes.

Last August, China tightened controls on exports of some drones by requiring firms to register to ensure they do not "compromise national security". Manufacturers of certain powerful drones are required to give technical details to the authorities to obtain a licence prior to export. The regulations are aimed in particular at drones that can fly for more than one hour and at heights of more than 15,420 metres.

In November, Amazon unveiled its Prime Air drone, which it believes will help deliver packages within 30 minutes in the "not too distant future". It carries on from when Amazon first developed drones to primarily carry small packages ordered in a hurry.

However, Amazon isn't the only one looking at drones as a delivery method. US retail giant Walmart announced last October that it wants to test drones for the use of home delivery and warehouse inventory management. The company filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration to test the drones.

With AAP

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