Drones in the Asian Pacific

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Production – consumption – representation

A Chinese company has been predicted to control over half the UAV manufacturing industry over the next 10 years according to studies in the Forecast International. The report predicts that the global drone market will more than double in the next ten years, rising from $942 million in 2014 to an annual $2.3 billion in 2023. The reasoning behind the market increased hasn’t been linked to increase in production, more the increase in cost of the technology.

“The report forecasts that the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), a state-owned Chinese defence company, will lead the world in UAV production. According to Forecast International, AVIC will produce about $5.76 billion worth of UAVs through 2023. This is more than half of the UAVs by value that will be produced during this time period. Nearly all these will be sold to Chinese consumers.”

In terms of commercial drones flown by citizens, China’s DJI brand of drones are a top choice of entrepreneurs and enthusiasts worldwide, particularly in the U.S in areas such as cinematography, agriculture, construction and surveillance. Mr Wang’s DJI  creation is a new breed of Chinese company. China became an economic juggernaut by in large part manufacturing cheap goods for companies from other countries. In recent years, a handful of Chinese firms, including Huawei Technologies Co., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (which is an online trade business)   and Lenovo Group Ltd (electronics)., have evolved from imitators to global leaders in their sectors. DJI has taken that further by creating a product that is, in many ways, the first of its kind. At a time when most drones were assembled from kits by enthusiasts, it developed systems that stabilized both the aircraft and its camera, and packaged them into an inexpensive device ready to fly out of the box.

Tensions have been brewing in the wake that China is well known to have plans for its military drones (UAVs) to conduct missions that are of less importance and more ‘test’ missions for] example it has been reported that Beijing had considered conducting a drone strike somewhere in the Golden Triangle to eliminate a Myanmar drug dealer who was wanted in China. Although around the same time of year, Japan was celebrating its nationalisation of the islands of Senkaku when authorities detected a labelled unidentified UAV which interfered with their aircraft, flying around the islands. Initially China didn’t claim it, however came around to say it belonged to them and that it had been on a routine mission around the area. In response, Japanese authorities have been reported on intending to shoot down any instances of UAV activity entering its airspace. China returned by saying it would consider this an act of war. Very interesting to consider when China is leading the way with their military UAVs being produced to a global market, and Japans need for the technology.

In terms of Asian-Pacific  drone market and UAV technology there have been labels going around about a potential arms race in the developments in unmanned vehicles. In recent years the science fiction fantasy has turned reality in the productions of drones or UAVs spreading globally. The have made headlines in the Asian-Pacific regions including Korea when South Korea authories had discovered 3 “small robotic planes” had crossed the border from North Korea undetected and all equipped with digital cameras. Although these crafts were unarmed and not huge in size, the idea that tensions are present within the technology is worrying for its development in its policy.

Zachary Keck 2014, China to Lead World in Drone Production, The Diplomat, viewed 24th September 2015, <http://thediplomat.com/2014/05/china-to-lead-world-in-drone-production/>

Arthur Herman 2014, Japans Coming Drone Revolution, Hudson Institute, viewed 24th September 2015, <http://www.hudson.org/research/10685-japan-s-coming-drone-revolution>

Jack Nicas 2014, Who Builds The World’s Most Popular Drones, The Wall Street Journal, viewed 24th September 2015, <http://www.wsj.com/articles/who-builds-the-worlds-most-popular-drones-1415645659&gt;

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