Chinese satellite navigation to see explosive growth

14:49, May 26, 2011      

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At the recent Second Annual Conference on China's Satellite Navigation, an official said China's satellite navigation industry will enter an explosive period once relevant techniques grow mature, and the annual value of production of the industry is expected to hit 400 billion yuan by 2020.

Ran Chengqi, the director of China's Satellite Navigation System Administration Office, revealed that: "China has already listed satellite navigation as one part of seven national major strategic new industries, and its application industries are meeting great opportunities."

Annual value of production expected to hit 400 billion yuan in 2020

"Actually, 400 billion [yuan] is still a conservative guess that was calculated based on the annual growth of 15 to 20 percent. However, China's satellite navigation industry has been growing with a speed of 30 to 50 percent in recent years. From the global perspective, the [worldwide satellite navigation] industry's productive value can reach 400 to 500 billion U.S. dollars by 2020." Ran said.

China's satellite navigation industry got started in 2002, and its market scale was only 4 billion yuan in 2003. In later years, with the implementation of China's "Satellite Navigation Application Industrialization" project, the consumer market base saw substantial increases and the growth rate of the market scale of domestic satellite navigation applications reached 50 percent.

China successfully launched the eighth Beidou Satellite this April, making China the third country in the world with its own passive satellite navigation and positioning capability after the United States and Russia.

The Beidou Satellite Navigation System will be able to provide regional service to the Asia-Pacific region before 2012 and be finished as a large scale space system with more than 30 satellites and various terminals covering the whole world around 2020.

Industrialization of core technology

After nearly 10 years of development, the conditions for China's satellite navigation equipment to enter the market are becoming ripe, and a batch user group is forming gradually, which means the industry has entered a rapid period of development.

"From the perspective of industrialization, we still have a ways to go compared to the developed countries — especially on core components and brand products overseas products nearly dominate the whole market," said Yang Dongkai, from China Technical Application Association for Global Positioning System.

But, how can China handle the problem? "We must keep hands on the industrialization of core technologies and key components, develop independent innovation insistently, break the barrier of core technologies and research and develop basic equipment with China's own intellectual property rights," Yang said.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online

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