Decades of Western outsourcing have created the idea that Chinese tech companies are smart enough to manufacture and copy, but not smart enough to invent or create innovative products on their own. That’s about to change as China’s massive population of engineers help convert the world’s largest Xerox machine into the world’s most formidable innovation center. And it’s starting with drones.
Drones are quickly shaping up to be the first breakthrough category of consumer electronics to have been invented and then dominated by Chinese companies. You could make the claim about hoverboards, too, but there’s no clear origin for those rideables. Testament, perhaps, to the speed and brashness of China’s copycat culture. The invention of the modern mid-range and prosumer drone, on the other hand, points to just one company: DJI.