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Chinese Satellite Industry to Disrupt Markets Across Eurasia

By | February 14, 2018

China’s Long March V heavy lift launch system at a spaceport in southern China’s Hainan province. Photo: Xinhua.

Northern Sky Research’s (NSR) China Satcom Markets (CSM) report finds a Chinese satellite industry primed to take a larger share of the global satcom market through attractive one-stop-shop offerings, aggressive growth plans and enhanced exports. For Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) High Throughput Satellites (HTS) alone, NSR forecasts Chinese state-owned companies to manufacture and launch more than 800 Gbps of capacity by 2026, with much of this coming over Southeast Asia, East Asia, and South Asia.

According to NSR, since the end of the Cold War, the satellite and space industry has been a duopoly between the United States and European Union (EU), with other players such as Russia, Japan, and now India playing a secondary role. At some point soon, however, it appears likely China will assume a position as a top-tier space nation globally, with significant ramifications for the satellite telecoms industry.

“China’s most recent five-year plan (2016 to 2020) notes a goal to improve launch and manufacturing capabilities, specifically for new satellite platforms. This translates into more satellites being exported by China to developing countries, with at least three ordered in 2018 thus far,” noted Jose Del Rosario, NSR research director.

China is primarily targeting turnkey projects, oftentimes including key financing mechanisms, as well as launching and manufacturing arrangements. Over the coming years, NSR expects this to add up to approximately 10 to 15 percent more capacity over regions across Eurasia and, in some instances, Latin America. The capacity added will be significant but will not be catastrophic for the market, according to the report.

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