It's intriguing how many individuals find their way to sUAS News pondering the very question at hand. One would presume the company's name, Da-Jiang Innovations, would provide an inkling!
Known by its acronym DJI, Da-Jiang Innovations translates to 'Great Frontier Innovations'. This tech firm originates from China, specifically from Shenzhen, Guangdong, with production bases scattered globally.
Frank Wang and Wang Tao are the geniuses behind DJI’s inception in 2006. At the time, Frank Wang, a PhD candidate in electronic engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, harboured a vision of crafting compact, featherweight drones for aerial photo and video capture.
DJI initially entered the market with helicopter autopilots, gaining applause from enthusiasts for its Flame Wheel series featuring the NAZA controller. However, their crowning glory arrived with the launch of the Phantom series in 2013, renowned for its slick, seamless plastic exterior.
During this period, the key competitor from the United States was 3DR, the creators of the Iris in 2014 and the Solo in 2015. Though technically superior, the Solo couldn't withstand DJI’s aggressive pricing strategy and suffered because of the belated launch of its gimbal.
Upon its release, the price tag attached to the Solo, equipped with a gimbal and GoPro camera, exceeded $1,700. In comparison, the DJI Phantom 3 Professional bundle was listed at $1,300. DJI further intensified the price war by reducing the Phantom's price to $1,000 in 2016.
One might posit that 2016 marked the demise of the mass-market American multirotor manufacturing industry. By 2021, the consumer drone market had arguably reached its zenith, with DJI monopolising the market, churning out thousands of affordable, high-functioning drones every day.
For any newly-established American consumer drone producer to compete, they would need to introduce an unprecedented innovation or possess sufficient resources to drive Chinese competitors out of the market precedence.
Therefore, to answer the query, it's valid to assert that DJI is indeed a company of Chinese origin.