BEIJING -- China Satellite Communications Corp. (China Satcom) officially became a fully-owned subsidiary company of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) after a merger ceremony held here in the Great Hall of the People Friday.
Total assets of China Satcom transferred to CASC came to 6.6 billion yuan (US$965.81 million).
The merger was planned by the State Council, or Cabinet, as a way to deepen reforms in the country's telecommunications industry.
CASC general manager Ma Xingrui, said the merger would extend the corporation's traditional services of researching and manufacturing of satellites to operating satellite-based telecommunications.
CASC deputy general manager Rui Xiaowu, also the former general manager of China Satcom, said China Satcom will now mainly focus on three service aspects: satellite spatial operations, providing geographic data and locations, and satellite-ground communications.
After the merger, China Satcom's telecommunication operations will be taken over by China Telecom, one of three major telecom service providers in the country.
Rui also said CASC would launch seven satellites for broadcast and mobile communications purposes in the next five years.
Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said China Satcom and SASC were running similar businesses, and that the merger would help boost the development of China's aerospace science and technology fields, as well as its satellite-based applications.
The two companies were among 141 centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in China.
The SOE China Satcom was founded December 19, 2001. It used to be one of six basic telecommunications operators in China. Now there are only three: China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom.