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How BeiDou is used in China and around the world

(Xinhua)    10:23, June 25, 2020

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- China has completed the deployment of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) with the recent launch of its last satellite, the 55th of the BeiDou family.

So far, the BDS system has been widely used in transportation, agriculture, forestry and fishery, hydrological monitoring, weather forecasts, communication time unification, power dispatching, disaster relief and mitigation, public security and other fields.

The following are some facts which briefly describe how BeiDou has been used in China and around the world.


As of the end of 2019, more than 6.5 million freight vehicles, 30,000 postal and express vehicles, 80,000 buses in 36 cities, 3,200 inland river navigation facilities and 2,900 maritime navigation facilities in China had used the BDS system.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has released a three-phase roadmap for the application of BDS, setting specific targets for 2021, 2025 and 2035 to gradually see full coverage of BDS to enhance the safety and efficiency of the industry.


China's earthquake and geo-information authorities have used BDS and gravitation satellites for quake relief and disaster reduction.

The short message communication capability of the BDS-3 system has been improved 10 times. Users of the system can send a message of 1,200 Chinese characters at a time, as well as pictures, a useful function during emergencies.

As of 2019, over 70,000 fishing boats and law enforcement vessels had been equipped with the BDS system. The system's positioning and short message communication functions have helped rescue over 10,000 fishermen.

The system has covered many scenic spots in China to aid rescue missions and routine management, enabling rescuers to pinpoint and reach lost tourists.


BDS has made agricultural production smarter and more precise.

As of April 2019, the BDS system had served more than 50,000 pieces of agricultural machinery, saving 10 percent of fuel.

Nanjing Agricultural University has developed a BDS-supported unmanned wheat seeding and harvesting technology, empowering agricultural production with the help of advanced navigation services.

Self-driving tractors and unmanned farming vehicles based on the BDS system have been used to explore precision farming in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northeastern Heilongjiang Province, and at an automated farm in eastern Jiangsu Province.


Navigation services based on the BDS are also changing people's lifestyle, by finding application in e-commerce, manufacturing of mobile intelligent terminals and positioning services.

Many Chinese e-commerce enterprises have adopted the BDS vehicle terminals for real-time dispatching of vehicles, people and cargo information.

In the field of smartphone applications, mainstream chip manufacturers at home and abroad have all developed chips that are compatible with BDS. More than 70 percent of mobile phones applying for internet access support the positioning service provided by BDS.

Smart wearable devices such as watches and bracelets that support the BDS system, as well as products for special groups, have been widely used.


BDS has helped the country fight COVID-19 with high precision from space.

When China was building the two makeshift hospitals--Huoshenshan and Leishenshan in Wuhan, once the epicenter of the disease, equipment based on BDS provided high-precision positioning services and hastened the construction.

Drones based on the BDS have been used to spray disinfectant.

China's Ministry of Transport sent epidemic prevention and transportation service information to more than 6 million vehicles via BDS terminals.


Following the principle of "developed by China, dedicated to the world," BDS is also used by more than half of the countries on the globe.

The satellite system started providing services for users in the Asia-Pacific region in December 2012, after the deployment of the BDS-2 system was completed.

In February 2018, the quick positioning platform of BDS was serving more than 200 countries and regions around the globe.

In December 2018, BDS started providing global services.

By the end of 2019, China had exported its BDS-based products to more than 120 countries and regions. The BDS has entered a new era of global service, benefiting precision farming, digital development and smart port construction in ASEAN, South Asia, Eastern Europe, West Asia and Africa.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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