Employee fraud will cost $150,000,000 says drone manufacturer DJI – 29 people fired

Jan 21, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Employee fraud will cost $150,000,000 says drone manufacturer DJI – 29 people fired

Jan 21, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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A Bloomberg report says that the world’s largest maker of drones, DJI, has discovered around 1 billion yuan (~$150 million) worth of employee fraud, and that “a number” of employees have been fired as a result. This number, according to the Financial Times could be as high as 29 employees – although DJI have not confirmed this.

The report says that the fraud was discovered by DJI during an internal probe in which employees were discovered to have inflated the cost of parts for personal gain. It goes on to say that “a number” of employees had been fired and that law enforcement has been contacted. DJI says that the situation is “extensive” and regards a large sum of money.

DJI employs 14,000 people around the world and is the clear leader when it comes to consumer drones, owning almost a 75% market share. I have to admit, I thought that number would be higher. The Financial times reports that 29 people have been fired over the investigation, and a further 16 have been reported to police.

As one of China’s best-known tech giants, this shows some pretty serious holes in Shenzhen based DJI’s procedures. In a statement made to Bloomberg, DJI said…

We are taking steps to strengthen internal controls and have established new channels for employees to submit confidential and anonymous reports relating to any violations of the company’s workplace conduct policies. We continue to investigate the situation and are cooperating fully with law enforcement’s investigation.

Engadget reports that DJI is said to be setting up an anti-corruption task force to investigate these events and prevent them from happening in the future. They say they are also opening up new channels for whistleblowers to confidentially and anonymously tip them off if they suspect co-workers of violating company conduct policies.

These actions do not represent DJI, our culture, or our 14,000 employees, who work hard every day to serve customers and develop cutting-edge technologies.

I suppose in most companies, especially ones with employees numbering in the thousands, one expects there to be a few bad apples. But that’s an awful lot of money to disappear before it was noticed.  One of the largest cases of corruption in recent memory for a Chinese tech company, according to Bloomberg.

[Bloomberg via The Verge / Engadget]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “Employee fraud will cost $150,000,000 says drone manufacturer DJI – 29 people fired”

  1. rifki syahputra Avatar
    rifki syahputra

    Good material for the next Ocean 29 movie with all chinese cast

  2. shorthound Avatar
    shorthound

    so just saw an internet ad for a new drone (blade 720) supposedly by the creator of a drone from DJI. He says he was fired because he asked why are they making the drones so expensive when the costs are so low becuase they started using cheaper components.

    This news report of so-called theft by insiders seems like a great CYA press release.

    So which is correct? Anyone know what the truth is?

    1. Ethuil UI Avatar
      Ethuil UI

      I do not know about situation in DJI and whatnot, but I do know that Blade 720 has huge reputation of a scam and lot of unhappy customers. They provide no warranty as well.

      If you try searching for it, half of the results will be people trying to figure out if it is scam, which is never a good sign.

      This is what their site said:
      > We don’t let things happen, we prevent them from happening. With a cutting-edge customer support system and high-quality products

      And on all the sites were people review their products I have seen 0 responses from their “cutting-edge” customer support system. That tells a lot about their transparency and honesty.

      Also after all this BS about how they care about customer, if you go into their legal section, this is what you will read:
      > We do not warrant that the quality of any products, services, information, or other material purchased or obtained by you will meet your expectations, or that any errors in the Service will be corrected.

      It is laughable how hypocritical they are, so from my subjective review, I would not trust anything those guys say, and definitely not order their Blade 720 drone.