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Beidou navigation system plays major role in many Chinese products

By Zhao Lei | | Updated: 2020-05-18 20:35
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By the end of 2019, Chinese products based on the Beidou Navigation Satellite System had been sold to more than 120 foreign countries and regions, playing a helpful role in a number of public sectors, according to a white paper published on Monday in Beijing.

The 2020 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 as of the end of last year, the domestically-developed Beidou system had been used in land-ownership investigation, smart agriculture and intelligent construction, as well as other businesses in Asia, Europe and Africa.

The white paper also noted Beidou is being used in dozens of businesses and public service sectors in China, such as transportation, electric power, fisheries, mining and agriculture.

The overall value of satellite-enabled navigation and positioning services in China in 2019 was 345 billion yuan ($48.5 billion), with a 14.4-percent increase year-on-year.

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

Beidou is the country's largest space-based system and one of the four global navigation networks, along with the United States' GPS, Russia's GLONASS and the European Union's Galileo.

China plans to launch the last satellite in the system's third-generation network in June, according to the China Satellite Navigation Office.

The nation began research and development of its own space-based navigation and positioning system in 1994, aiming to lessen its reliance on foreign networks.

In 2000, China launched the first two Beidou satellites to establish an experimental system. In 2003 and 2007, another two experimental satellites were lifted up to join the trial run.

Beidou's first mass-production satellite, also the first in its second-generation series, was launched in April 2007. The first two third-generation satellites were launched in November 2017.

The deployment of Beidou's space-based assets accelerated in the past two years, with 17 launches placing 28 satellites into orbit. The most recent launch took place in March.

Beidou began providing positioning, navigation, timing and messaging services to civilian users in China and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region in December 2012. At the end of 2018, it started to provide global services.

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