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Shenzhen International UAV Expo 2018: Takeaways and Conclusions


It was a great pleasure for SkyHopper by Mobilicom team to take an active part in Shenzhen International UAV Expo 2018 and the World Drone Congress, held alongside the exhibition June 2018.

Compliments go to the organizers for a well-organized event and the kindest hospitality.

The main takeout from this event must be the fact that China’s Drone market is rocking in the fastest pace ever!

Following three most interesting days at the exhibition floor presenting SkyHopper by Mobilicom solutions, fruitfully discussing opportunities with partners, customers and prospects and a wonderful speaking opportunity at the UAS Standards Innovative Application Forum, it led me to the following insights:

China, a Global consumer-drones leader also positions itself as a leader in the commercial and industrial drone’s markets. It was very clear in Shenzhen as drone companies presented unique innovative products that can serve different use cases and applications.

Local focus with a strong Global ‘glimpse’ - China is a very large market for drone operations and it was clearly reflected at the exhibition floor. Most of the companies serve the local market first then the global customers (excluding DJI). The global ‘glimpse’ was clearer at the Congress where global experts and opinion leaders presented their ideas, standards and insights.

In terms of standardization and regulations, China is taking a very active role in learning global trends and collaborating with global organizations. Taking an integral part in shaping the industry standards will further position China as a leader with the advantages of validating in large-scale locally.  

We got the impression that there are less tethered solutions compared with other exhibitions in China and other markets. While tethered solutions will always have a certain market niche for specific applications, we know that it might also be over presented due to regulations limitations to fly. This could be a positive sign that regulation is opening and that drones are literally getting unleashed, ready to fly. It may further indicate the strong joint incentives of the regulators and drone operators to push the industry to higher levels.

In terms of leading verticals (or applications) drone manufacturers are looking at, the focus is the first responders and HLS, with larger drones and innovation integrated capabilities such as water dropping. Second to first responders and HLS is agriculture which is a large market that requires practical and unique solutions and the drone industry in China is significantly promoting it.

And last, the increased investment in AI, Autonomous drones, Fleet and Swarm management solutions and the overall understanding that eventually, these technologies will enable the mass adoption of drones in our daily life.

It was truly a great time in Shenzhen and we are eagerly looking forward for the bright future of China industrial and commercial drone industry.