Beidou satellites: China plans to establish the next generation navigation system

By the end of 2022, the overall value of satellite-enabled navigation and positioning services in China was about 501 billion yuan ($71 billion), a 6.8 percent increase year-on-year, according to an industry document published on Thursday.

The 2023 White Paper on the Development of China’s Satellite Navigation and Positioning Industries, compiled by the Global Navigation Satellite System and Location-Based Services Association of China, said that the navigation and positioning services in the chip, equipment, software, data and infrastructure industries had a combined output value of 153 billion yuan, a 5.1 percent increase from 2021.

In 2022, around 376 million terminal devices with satellite-based positioning and navigation functions were sold in China, including about 264 million smartphones.

More than 500,000 Chinese people now work at around 14,000 domestic institutes and companies doing business related to Beidou and other satellite navigation and positioning services, according to the white paper.

Beidou is currently China’s largest civilian satellite system and one of four global navigation networks, along with the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and the European Union’s Galileo.

Since 2000, 60 Beidou satellites, including the first four experimental ones, have been lifted on 45 Long March 3 series rockets from Xichang, Sichuan province. In July 2020, the system began providing full-scale global services.

Currently, there are 46 Beidou satellites in active service.

China plans to establish the next generation of the Beidou system by 2035. The new version will be “omnipresent, smarter and more integrated”, and upon its completion, there will be Beidou service not only on land and sea surfaces but also in the sky, outer space and deep within the oceans, according to the China Satellite Navigation Office.

Source: Xinhua News Agency