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China’s BeiDou Navigation Industry on the Rise

Image credits: gov.cn

China’s BeiDou navigation industry has increased in value as the industry is estimated to exceed 1 trillion yuan (about US$ 155 billion) by 2025, taking up 20 to 25% of the global share, according to an expert. The year 2020 was a major turning point for BeiDou, as the construction of the system was completed and the focus shifted to its industrialisation and large-scale applications.

The President of China has officially announced the completion and commissioning of the BeiDou-3 system at a ceremony held in Beijing. The system allows global users to access its high-accuracy positioning, navigation and timing services. During the past year, BeiDou has made significant progress as the services have been applied to multiple scenarios in various industries and it’s time to see its full potential.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has adversely impacted many economic activities, the value of China’s navigation industry topped 400 billion yuan in 2020, growing at an average annual rate of over 20%. In fact, how China fights against the epidemic has truly reflected the importance of time and location services, through which we can get an overall picture of the epidemic situation and achieve real-time tracking of any changes.

China navigation industry has its advantages — a huge domestic market with a large number of users. Several years ago, the value of China’s navigation industry only took up less than 10% of the world’s total. Now the share is 15%. The goal is to expand it to 20% and even 25% by 2025. As long as BeiDou-related applications and services are well developed in China, they will be competitive globally.

China only started to build its BeiDou system in 1994 from scratch. For a long time, the country relied heavily on imported products. After years of effort, a complete BeiDou industrial chain consisting of chips, modules, boards, antennas and terminals has formed in the country.

A few years ago, Chinese chips still lagged behind their foreign counterparts in terms of performance. The production volume was also low, driving up the prices. However, through their hard work, Chinese companies have made breakthroughs in some key technologies, and the production volume has also significantly increased.

Chinese chips and modules now have comparable performance with foreign products, but with lower prices. For example, in the past, China had to import a large number of high-end receivers. Now the imported amount has dropped a lot, and we mainly rely on domestic supplies. Besides, the high-end receivers have been exported to other countries.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, China has the ambition to become a major player in the highly lucrative satellite navigation market. The country’s self-developed Beidou navigation tech is eyeing fast development in industrial applications as it continues to expand its presence globally.

China officially commissioned BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to open the new BDS-3 system to global users. It is now operating alongside three other systems: GPS of the United States; Galileo of the European Union; and GLONASS of Russia.


The system offers positioning, navigation, and timing services, among others. It has applications in various public sectors such as transportation, disaster relief and mitigation, agriculture, and forestry. The company will finish installing and upgrading BDS terminals on 1,000 buses in the provincial capital.

The company can more accurately gain the operation mileage statistics and know the real-time position of the vehicles with the high-precision positioning. It has also developed a new pervasive sensor equipped with Beidou technology that is changing the traditional ways of disaster monitoring. The navigation system provides more accurate location and time information to work out the speed and acceleration of a landslide. The additional data can allow for more precise judgment.

Navigation-related industries are eyeing new opportunities this year, as it has been listed in China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035.

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