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China’s satellite industry eyes global satellite market

A Long March 4B rocket carrying a new civilian high-resolution mapping satellite “Ziyuan III 02” and two NewSat satellites from Uruguay blasts off at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China’s Shanxi Province, May 30, 2016. Image courtesy Xinhua.

China is likely to be building and supplying at least 10 percent of the world’s satellites by 2020, according to a leading space researcher.

“A forecast by a foreign consultancy said that around 1,000 satellites will be launched by 2020 to meet the demands of the market, and we believe Chinese-developed satellites will account for more than 10 percent of that market,” said Yuan Minhui, the director of the Beijing Institute of Space Science and Technology Information.

Yuan, who spoke to China Daily on Monday on the sidelines of the Third China International Satellite Service Business Matching event, which is aimed to promote Chinese satellites in the international market, said the role will only continue to grow.

“Remote sensing, communications, and positioning and navigation satellites are our major offers in the global market and they will continue to expand their shares,” he said.

In talking about cooperation potential between China and the United States in the space industry, Yuan suggested that, despite the US now having a ban in place on contact between Chinese and US space workers, the nations should seriously consider cooperating on manned space exploration programs.

“This is because such programs cost a lot and carry high risks,” he said. “Collaboration would help reduce the risks and improve engineering efficiency.”

Another satellite industry insider suggested that the government might consider setting clear responsibilities for space-related authorities because that would facilitate the industry expanding overseas.

“Currently, we can’t even find out who is in charge of some fields in the satellite sector,” said the researcher, who declined to be named, citing his employer’s media policy. “The vague organizational structure and lack of definitions and responsibilities causes confusion for our potential foreign clients

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