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China is world's 2nd largest commercial satellite owner

China started its commercial aerospace sector in 2015, when the country launched a 10-year plan to engage private players in the once national-operation only field.

Boosted by policy support, China's aerospace market has grown rapidly in the past seven years, with an annual growth rate of more than 20 percent, and it is expected to top 1.5 trillion yuan (about $222 billion) in 2022.

So far, four Chinese commercial rocket enterprises have carried out eight launch attempts, with two successfully putting rockets into orbit.

China is now the world's second largest commercial satellite owner after the U.S.

Launching more satellites The thriving global market has driven up demand for low-cost carrier launches.

For private aerospace companies, however, it is difficult to develop carrier rocket technology because of their long development cycle and slow production growth capacity.

According to the UCS Satellite Database, from 2015 to 2018, China launched fewer than 10 commercial remote sensing satellites annually.

Therefore, the country introduced support policies to help commercial players in the field.

"The research and development of satellites and rockets, especially rockets, requires extensive scientific research infrastructure," Pan Aihua, chief engineer at the China National Space Administration, told CMG.

"China has made considerable investment in this sector over the years. We also encourage this sector to partially open to private enterprises and allow its research outcomes to be shared with the whole society."

Launches of commercial remote sensing satellites more than doubled from nine in 2018 to 21 in 2019 on new support policies. The number is expected to exceed 50 in 2022.

As of this June, China has more than 120 such satellites in orbit, with an ever-expanding field of applications, such as meteorological observation, land surveying and mapping and ocean observation.


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