Chinese drone maker DJI catches corrupt staff in a $150 million scam

DJI is investigating a number of cases involving corruption which caused its prices to shoot up by 20%. It has already fired 45 individuals from its R&D and procurement divisions.

In a statement, SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, the world’s largest maker of consumer drones, stated its employees had inflated the cost of parts for personal gains, in incidents that may have caused it to take a hit of nearly $150 million in 2018.

Last week, privately held DJI stated, it was “investigating a number of serious cases of corruption at the company leading to losses of more than 1 billion yuan ($147.03 million) for 2018”.

The development marks one of the largest cases of corruption involving a Chinese technology company that has been brought to light.

DJI did not respond to further questions about the matter and its earnings.

Shenzhen-based DJI was founded in 2006. It is one of a handful of Chinese consumer technology companies to have successfully expanded its market overseas.

In December 2017, while speaking to Chinese online media outlet The Paper, DJI president Luo Zhenhua had stated, DJI had posted revenues of 18 billion yuan in that year with 80% of it coming from markets outside of China.

On Friday, an internal notice had begun circulating on Chinese social media which stated that DJI woke up to the issue during an overhaul of management procedures; it found that several employees in its supply chain had engaged in “corrupt behavior” which caused prices of its products to rise by 20%.

As per these documents, DJI had fired 45 individuals, most of whom were placed in its R&D and procurement divisions.

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