Drone Maker DJI Rocked By Massive Fraud Scandal Triggering $150 Million Loss

SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd., the world largest producer of consumer drones, recently discovered several cases of fraud within their own company. The Chinese technology company may lose more than $150 million USD (1 billion CN¥) due to the corruption. DJI is currently investigating the cases and have already contacted law enforcement.

DJI discovered the corruption through a routine quality check. Various employees inflated the cost of drone parts in order to line their own pockets. The China Securities Journal reported that at least 40 people had already been investigated and several employees have been fired.
dji mavic air drone

DJI spokeswoman Hong Yongxin stated, “We are taking steps to strengthen internal controls and have established new channels for employees to submit confidential and anonymous reports relating to any violations of the company’s workplace conduct policies.” She also noted that they have created a high-level anti-corruption task force to aid in their investigation. It is currently unclear how deep the corruption runs in the 12,000 employee company.

DJI, or Dà-Jiāng Innovations, was founded in 2006 by Frank Wang. Wang received a university grant to research and develop drones and started the company in his dorm room. Today DJI accounts for over 70% of the consumer drone market and aids in fields such as agriculture and surveying. Their drones will soon even help inspect planes for American Airlines. Their revenue amounted to $2.83 billion USD (18 billion CN¥) in 2017.

dji mavic 2 zoom drone

2018 was marked by more than fraud for DJI. The company released well-reviewed products such as the Mavic Air, Mavic 2 Pro, and the Mavic 2 Zoom. They also released the the Osmo Pocket, a small 3-axis stabilized handheld 4K camera. The devices is targeted at photographers on the move and is intended to compete with GoPro's Hero 7 Black.

DJI most recently released a Smart Controller to accompany their latest line of drones. The device includes a 5.5-inch ultra-bright display screen, a pair of detachable joysticks, and an Android dashboard with support for DJI's Go 4 app. Although the company has been rocked by corruption, it does not seem like they will be slowing down any time soon.