December 22, 2017 / 7:26 AM / 8 months ago

China's drone market to be worth $9 billion by 2020: industry ministry

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s drone market is likely to grow annually by 40 percent to have an output value of 60 billion yuan ($9.13 billion) by 2020, the industry ministry said on Friday in a statement, in which it pledged support for the sector’s development.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said it would encourage the military to perform more drone flight testing, ask colleges to set up drone-related majors as well as establish a national drone association.

China, the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer drones but which also has tight restrictions over its airspace, has been trying to regulate the industry without strangling its rapid growth.

By 2025, the government hopes the industry will have an output value of 180 billion yuan, the MIIT said, adding that these targets were part of a “Made in China 2025” campaign to upgrade the country’s domestic manufacturing base.

China published strict rules this year to tackle incidents of drones straying into aircraft flight paths, including requiring owners of civilian drones to register crafts up to a certain weight under their real names.

Reporting by SHANGHAI Newsroom

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