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China's CASIC eyes space communications market

By Zhao Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-10-30 18:00

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp is looking into setting up a satellite company to tap the space-based communications market, a company insider has revealed.

Tan Qianhong, Party chief of China Space Sanjiang Group, a CASIC subsidiary in Hubei province, said Sanjiang has submitted a plan for the satellite company to its parent and is waiting for approval.

The new entity will focus mainly on the research, development and launch of small satellites that will operate in low orbits and provide narrowband communication services, Tan said on the sidelines of the 19th CPC National Congress.

"President Xi Jinping has stressed that China's modernization drive will not succeed without the completion of informatization," he said. "Space-based infrastructures are a pillar of the information industry. The new company will be tasked with forming a satellite constellation to boost space-based communications."

The network will offer coverage to users at sea or in remote regions that currently have poor access to ground-based communication services, according to Tan. He said the proposed company will have a team of satellite designers, but added that it will also buy satellites if they have a better cost-performance ratio.

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