The four-day DJI training at the historic military academy is not merely a weekend team-building event, as explained by a DJI spokesperson. Nor is it a corporate paintball adventure, as suggested by some of our readers. The military-style training took place at the historic Whampoa Military Academy and had a strong focus on education, creating good habits, and experiencing “life of the barracks and cultivating the hard-working spirit and perseverance.”
DJI training at Whampoa Military Academy is not just a weekend team-building event
When we posted the article about the DJI military training required for all employees in China to ‘prepare for war,’ we received substantial pushback.
Readers commented that this was simply a corporate paintball event. DJI responded immediately by saying that this was “a team-building event where select DJI staff spend the weekend together,” and added that our article had taken “things” out of context and was supported by “unvalidated sources.”
DJI’s explanation, however, does not paint the full picture.
With our DroneXL-validated source’s help, we could track down the military academy where the DJI training took place. The weekend team-building event, aka the compulsory military-style training that DJI employees underwent, took place at the Guangzhou Huangpu Lingyue Special Training Camp. The camp is located at the historic Whampoa Military Academy on Changzhou Island, a little over 60 miles northwest of Shenzhen in China. The military training took place over four days from September 3rd through 6th.
The Whampoa military academy, according to Wikipedia, is a military training base for the revolutionary army of Sun Yat-Sen, the founder of modern China. The facility officially opened on May 1st, 1924, on Changzhou Island. The very well preserved historic military base is open to visitors and even ranks four out of five stars on TripAdvisor, although DJI employees might rank it differently.
A closer look at the Guangzhou Huangpu Lingyue Special Training Camp website, the organization that managed DJI’s four-day ‘team-building’ event, informs us that the training heavily focuses on military-style training. The education has a scientific basis and aims to strengthen good habits and get rid of bad habits and “experience the life of the barracks and cultivate the hard-working spirit and perseverance.” The video below is a promotional video and provides some insight as to what the training might include.
Rather than being a weekend team-building event, the DJI military-style training started on Thursday and ended on Sunday. The website states, “We know that good habits are not formed in a day or two. Similarly,… bad habits cannot be changed in a day or two.”
The summer and winter programs aimed at younger students are presented as follows.
“Guangzhou Huangpu Lingyue Special Training Camp is a winter and summer camp education brand with the Whampoa Military Academy as its distinctive theme. It is based on the concept of “leading education excellence”. With many years of practical professional experience, it integrates into cutting-edge military education courses at home and abroad. The combination of quality education, experiential education, and military culture has opened military-style summer camps and winter camps, as well as parent-child trips and other activities with rich content and various forms, aiming to cultivate youth perseverance, responsibility, discipline, gratitude, cooperation, and The beautiful quality of hard work.”
“The richest educational content, the most scientific education method.”
DJI employees assembled in front of the gate of the historic Whampoa Military Academy.
Apart from corporate training events, the organization also offers summer and winter camps for young students that ‘adopt fully enclosed militarized management.’
The training duration can be as short as four days or as long as 28 days, with prices ranging from $480 to $1565 per person. Every class of 30 students is staffed with a male military instructor, a female life teacher, and a photographer. Students are not allowed to bring any smartphones or other means of communication to the training.
The training intensity will “strictly follow the guidance of experts and conduct appropriate training based on the campers’ physical condition to ensure that the training intensity will not be overloaded.”
Before attending the four-day event, DJI warned employees to “be careful and not to overestimate one’s constitution to avoid falling unconscious or get dehydrated.”
Before publishing this article, we reached out to DJI. A spokesperson told me that the drone maker stands by its earlier comments but also added the following.
“This story describes a corporate team-building exercise, plain and simple. We know DJI fans love to scrutinize our activities for any clues about what we’re doing next, but there’s no hidden meaning in this event.”
In our opinion, DJI has set a new course to overcome its internal culture clash. The world’s largest drone maker is training its employees to work in a very disciplined manner toward achieving DJI’s vision and mission after the Long March reforms and layoffs that took place earlier this year. Keep in mind that these photos only show the first group of DJI employees that underwent this military-style training. More DJI employees are scheduled to be trained in subsequent sessions.
Let us know in the comments below if this still sounds like a corporate paintball adventure or a weekend team-building event to you. We are curious to hear what you think.
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Photo of the image of the gate of the former Whampoa Military Academy from Wikipedia.