In our article titled “Frank Wang 101: Who is the DJI Successful Founder and Businessman?” on Zatrun.com, we will delve into everything you need to know about Frank Wang, the founder and businessman of DJI, which our readers are curious about, in detail.
Who is Frank Wang?
Born in 1980, Wang Tao, better known as Frank Wang, is a Chinese aerospace engineer and businessman. He is the founder and CEO of Shenzhen-based technology company DJI, the world’s largest producer of commercial drones. As of December 2020, his net worth is $4.8 billion USD.
Previously known as Wang Tiao, Wang Tao is a Chinese space engineer and businessman who developed an early interest in airplanes and aircraft at a young age, although he achieved only moderate grades during his school years. He attended the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for university, where he caught the attention of mathematics professor Li Zexiang with his impressive performance in a class project to create a helicopter flight control system. Li later recruited Wang into the school’s graduate program. In 2005, Wang participated in the ABU Robocon, where his HKUST team won the third-place award among teams from across Asia. HKUST awarded Wang an HK$18,000 (US$2,300) scholarship to conduct research and develop a drone.
Frank Wang built the first prototypes of DJI projects in his dorm room and sold flight control components to universities and Chinese electrical companies. In 2006, he used the revenue he earned to move to the industrial center in Shenzhen and hire a small team. The company initially faced difficulties and had a high employee turnover rate, attributed to Wang’s tough personality and his expectation of perfection from employees. During this time, the company sold limited amounts of components and also benefited from $90,000 in financial support provided by Wang’s family friend, Lu Di. In 2010, Wang hired his high school friend, Swift Xie Jia, to manage the company’s marketing department.
DJI began to appeal more to drone hobbyists outside of China. In 2011, Wang met former television competition contestant Colin Guinn at a trade show, and the two focused on mass-market drone sales by establishing DJI North America, a subsidiary company. In 2013, DJI released the Phantom model, an entry-level drone that was more user-friendly than any other drone available at the time. Phantom was a commercial success worldwide, but it caused conflict between Guinn and Wang. In the middle of the year, Wang made a purchase offer to Guinn, but it was declined.
By the end of the year, DJI was moving towards closing down the North American subsidiary’s operations and had removed all of its employees from their email accounts. Guinn sued DJI, and the case was settled outside of court. In 2015, DJI surpassed Phantom’s success with the release of the Phantom 3, which included an internal live streaming camera. DJI became the world’s largest consumer drone company, forcing many competitors out of the market. In 2017, Wang became Asia’s youngest technology billionaire. By 2020, DJI had nearly 77% of the US market share in consumer drones, with no other company holding more than 4%.