As the world’s dominant market for consumer and commercial drones and home to the most innovative drone companies and start-ups, China, with its important centre Shenzhen, is at the forefront of technological maturity in the drone industry. At the same time, digitalisation in the Chinese transport sector is well advanced, and the entire drone supply chain is integrated at the national level.
This report helps to better understand the developments in the Chinese drone market and drone industry as well as the legal framework, to trace different approaches to pilot projects and to assess the future potential of this sector. The insights into the Chinese drone market underline China’s role as one of the leading nations in the development and application of drones. The lessons China is learning – from the Chinese government’s high investments in the drone industry, through the rapid adoption of innovative technologies and the implementation of pilot projects, to the creation of favourable regulatory frameworks in selected pilot regions – will have a significant impact on shaping innovative aviation in the future. Against the backdrop of the advancing digitalisation of transport and mobility worldwide, notably in China, increased attention must be paid to the swift developments in the field of drones. In this promising area of transport and key industrial technology, China, Europe and Germany can certainly derive positive results from a joint dialogue at both the technical and political levels.