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China wakes up again

A new Chinese company applied to the ITU for a 10,000 satellites Honghu-3 constellation in 160 planes! This project is pushed by Hongqing Technology Co. The Shanghai-based company has been developing satellite propulsion systems so far and is part of a local push for the space sector. Interestingly, Hongqing is partly owned by Beijing based Landscape which is a rocket builder. This is more or less reminiscent of the SpaceX-Starlink model with strong synergies between laucnhers and a revenue generating satellite constellation business.

With 2 major LEO satellite constellation projects, China is becoming a major contender in this area. This demonstrates that the “Internet-by-satellite” is a key strategic area for China as all project are state supported. It is still unclear at this stage what the effect will be on other constellations like Starlink or Kuiper: the Chinese projects will probably first focus on their local market and probably on their influence areas, the so called silk road. However, the history of China in the past has demonstrated its capability and willingness to export its products. Stacom is a service, but will this be really different?

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