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