Feb 01, 2019 06:14 PM

Friday Tech Briefing: Drone-Maker DJI Pledges to Fight Corruption

1. Drone-Maker DJI Pledges to Fight Corruption

DJI Technology Co. Ltd., the world’s largest producer of consumer drones, has pledged to take “painful” steps to tackle internal corruption.

The Shenzhen-based company revealed in an internal letter earlier this month a series of fraud cases that cost it 1 billion yuan ($148.8 million) in 2018. Dozens of employees were fired or turned over to local authorities after they were accused of inflating the cost of parts for personal gain.

“DJI will now take a leading role in developing clear policies, procedures and expectations to address corner-cutting and employee theft,” the company said in the statement on Wednesday. (Caixin)

2. Second China-Bound Apple Engineer Charged With Secrets Theft

An Apple Inc. hardware engineer has been charged in the U.S. with stealing the iPhone-maker’s secret driverless car technology for a China-based company. It’s the second such case since July and follows a government crackdown on Chinese corporate espionage.

On Jan. 11, a fellow Apple employee allegedly saw Jizhong Chen take photographs with a wide-angle lens inside a secure workspace that houses the company’s autonomous car project, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in San Jose, California. (Bloomberg)

3. Foxconn Rethinks Wisconsin Factory Plan

Taiwan-based company Foxconn Technology Group Co. Ltd. could scale back or even shelve plans for a $10 billion Wisconsin LCD plant, Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, has told Reuters. Woo, whose company received controversial state and local government handouts for the project — which would have been the largest greenfield investment by a foreign-based company in U.S. history — blamed relatively high labor costs in the U.S., according to the report. He said the company was still evaluating options for Wisconsin. (Reuters)

4. Electric-Vehicle Maker NIO Issues $650 million Convertible Bond

China’s Tesla wannabe NIO Inc. issued a $650 million five-year convertible bond on Jan. 30. According to a filing, the money will be used in research and development, services and technology, developing manufacturing facilities, as well as a variety of other needs. According to its annual report, NIO’s 2018 vehicle sales totaled 11,348 units, making it the first Chinese electric-car startup to top 10,000 sales in a year. (SEC)

5. 442 Cities Are Using Ant Financial to Provide Public Services

Ant Financial Services Group, one of the world’s biggest unicorns with a value of $160 billion, said 442 Chinese cities are using its platform to provide government services. Citizens can use Alipay to pay social security, utilities, traffic fines, and more. Alipay was used for online government services more than 500 million times in 2018, the company says.

(Beijing News, link in Chinese)

Compiled by Bonnie Wang

Contact editor Flynn Murphy (

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