Beijing: Civilian drones have become another of China’s hot-selling tech products along with high-speed rails and cell phones, with exports soaring in the January-November period in 2015.

According to customs in the southern city of Shenzhen, where 99 percent of China’s civilian drones are exported from, exports amounted to 2.7 billion yuan ($412 million) from January to November, which was 9.2 times from the same period in 2014, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Shenzhen-based technology firm DJI, a leading manufacturer of commercial and recreational drones for aerial photography and videography, has gained control of almost 70 percent of the civilian drone market share worldwide, with Europe and North America its biggest customers.

The customs figures showed that 43 percent of the exports were sent to Hong Kong before being shipped to the Americas and Europe. Eighteen percent of the export was shipped directly to the US.

Civilian drones are being used more and more for security and agriculture. Founded in 2006, DJI’s international fame started off in Hollywood where its drones were widely used in filming movies and TV shows. China now has 400 firms involved in making drones.

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