BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- With drones for civil use gaining popularity in China, domestic enterprises are making inroads in the billion-dollar business.
Nearly 60 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) makers and research institutes presented 70 drones and components at the fifth UAV China Conference & Exhibition that took place here over the weekend.
"Our products were well received. We have signed more than 10 deals," said Wen Zhenguo, a client manager of Beijing-based ZeroTech.
GuideInfrared, a thermal imager manufacturer headquartered in central China's Wuhan City, displayed observing and searching devices specially designed for small UAVs at the exhibition.
Technicians at SunshineLaser delivered a speech at the three-day event, elaborating on how the company uses 3D printing technology to make drones.
Other participants, many of them listed companies, exhibited their UAV products, aiming to grab a share of the lucrative business.
Non-military drones are usually used for land surveys, oceanographic observation, disaster relief and agriculture purposes. It is estimated that the drone market in China may be worth up to 46 billion yuan (7.4 billion U.S. dollars) in the coming years.
Globally, the United States has the most advanced UAV technology. Amazon is reportedly preparing to test drones as a means of delivering packages in 30 minutes or less.
China is a latecomer to the UAV industry but is advancing quickly in development of the technology. In the latest breakthrough, a Chinese firm announced the launch last week of a remote-sensing drone that can stay in the air for as long as 30 hours at a time.
The growing drone market also calls for improved management. Under the current rules, anyone wanting to flat a UAV has to get permits from aviation authorities before doing so. The increasing volume of applications will put the system to the test.