Japanese drone company CEO sees China's tech capital a stage for going global

Xinhua
As an innovative company, the growth of Aeronext, a Japanese unmanned aerial vehicle company is closely related to the rapid development of China's economy.
Xinhua

As an innovative company, the growth of Aeronext, a Japanese unmanned aerial vehicle company is closely related to the rapid development of China's economy and the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, the country's tech capital.

In an interview with Xinhua, Aeronext CEO Keisuke Toji shared the company's deep connection with Shenzhen.

Japan's drone industry is at least a decade behind China's, Toji said. In 2018, Aeronext, founded for just over a year, took part in the Innovation Nanshan "Entrepreneur Star" Contest, winning the third place of the startup team and the award for the application of intellectual property rights with the independently developed technology of "4D Gravity" airframe gravity center control.

He said the contest has introduced many of his counterparts in Shenzhen to Aeronext's unique technology. In 2019, Aeronext cooperated with industry heavyweights including Shenzhen-based industrial drone manufacturer MMC and set up a laboratory of flying robotics technology with Southern University of Science and Technology.

The contest has become Aeronext's gateway to the Chinese market with its technology, and Shenzhen has also become Aeronext's stage to enter the world market.

Aeronext initially targeted not only the Japanese market, but also the global market for industrial drones, Toji said.

However, Japan's unmanned aerial vehicle market expands slowly, and "if you want to fight in the world market, you must first enter the Chinese market," he said.

In May 2019, Aeronext set up a subsidiary in Shenzhen to start its technology research and development and technology transfer business for the Chinese market.

Toji said that the environment for drone business development in Shenzhen is very agreeable with a large number of companies in the same industry, which is convenient for test flight and has greatly promoted the efficiency of experiment and improvement.

He said he was deeply impressed by Shenzhen's preferential policies for innovative enterprises and emphasized that the city attaches great importance to intellectual property protection.

"Aeronext focuses on technology research and development and technology transfer. Shenzhen's sound environment of intellectual property protection is very important for the company's development," Toji said.

China's drone market has a huge demand, which is expected to grow even more in the post-COVID-19 era and will provide a broader space for Aeronext to grow, Toji said.

He also said he is looking forward to the future development of the Chinese economy, which Aeronext's fate has been closely linked to.


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