Business / China's navigation system

Independent GPS system to create $60 billion

(Xinhua) Updated: 2011-03-20 10:03

BEIJING - China's Beidou global navigation system is expected to generate revenues of about 400 billion yuan (60 billion US dollars) by 2020 as the country attempts to compete with foreign GPS technology, a senior space technology expert said Saturday.

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"By 2015, our country's Beidou project will generate an industry worth between 150 to 200 billion yuan. In 2020, the figure is expected to reach 400 billion," Liu Jingnan, Executive President of the China Satellite Navigation Conference, announced to the media.

According to previous reports, in the first stage of the 2011-2015 period, 12 to 14 navigation satellites will be launched to provide navigation, timing and short message services in the Asia and Pacific region. By 2020, a global navigation system comprised of more than 30 satellites will be in place.

So far, China had launched seven satellites for the Beidou positioning network.

Earlier this month, Qi Faren, the former chief designer for Shenzhou spaceships, said that the Beidou system, which is a Chinese-made GPS system, can be used wherever the US GPS operates.

The system can also play a key role in forecasting earthquakes, defining borders more precisely, and guiding lost drivers, Qi said.

The United States is currently the dominant provider of navigation services for vehicles in China, used in 95 percent of the country's navigation market.

According to experts, the performance of the Beidou system in global competition in the next ten years will largely rely on three aspects: user feedback, the overall construction of China's basic industries and support from government policies.

China started building its own satellite navigation system in 2000 and had set up a regional satellite navigation system after launching three Beidou geostationary satellites between October 2000 and May 2003. Beidou is the Chinese pinyin for compass.

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