Home  Contact Us
  Follow Us On:
 
Search:
Advertising Advertising Free Newsletter Free E-Newsletter
Magazine
  
      2021       2020       2019       2018       2017       2016       2015       2014       2013       2012       2011       2010       2009       2008

IN DEPTH: Chinese Space Industry And its Business Relationship
Share to

Chinese Space Industry
And its Business Relationship
By John Feng

BT 201907 IN DEPTH 05What once was pure sci-fi is now a reality. This is something that older generations can relate to and younger ones are expectant to witness. Since the second half of the 20th century, in what was called the “Space Race”, the interest in space ventures has escalated and now United States, Russia, China, India, European Union, and Japan are the main players in the outer world exploration.
 

In this article, more than talking about the industry as a whole or telling a story about the past accomplishments, I would like to focus on China’s strategy and what is expected to happen in the future. In addition to this, it is also crucial to connect such endeavours with its business relationship and analyse how it can impact the Chinese entrepreneurial landscape.
 

本文重点关注中国的太空战略以及未来的发展方向,并分析它如何影响中国的企业。
 

Governmental Strategy

BT 201907 IN DEPTH 04Artist impression of the future Chinese Space Station

China is the third country to “independently send humans into space”. The planning and development of the entire space program is made through the China National Space Administration (CNSA). Jointly with it there is the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), which plays a more operational role and is responsible for the design, manufacture, and development of spacecraft, launch vehicles, strategic and tactical missile systems, and ground equipment.

BT 201907 IN DEPTH 03For now, the national space program has two main objectives: first to complete the works on Chang’e mission, which will culminate in the first sample-return mission to the moon. Second, the plan to establish a Chinese Space Station is in motion and is expected to begin in 2022. For the long-term, there is a clear goal of conducting crewed missions to the Moon and robotic ones to Mars.
 

Such ambition from the Chinese government might have inspired private investors, which are now interested in changing the conception of space as we know it.
 

政府战略

中国是第三个“独立将人类送入太空”的国家。整个太空计划的规划和发展是通过中国国家航天局(CNSA)进行的。中国航天科技集团公司(CASC)与其共同发挥作用,负责航天器,运载火箭,战略和战术导弹系统以及地面设备的设计,制造和开发。
 

中国太空计划有两个主要目标:首先完成嫦娥一号任务的工作,最终将完成首次月球返回任务。其次,建立中国空间站的计划正在进行中,预计将于2022年开始。
 

Private Market

Although this industry’s success has been measured by the public sector, private companies have been developing to become a driver of innovation and recognition.

BT 201907 IN DEPTH 02In 2018, the private Chinese space start-ups gathered a staggering 3.57 billion yuan in equity investment and, among these companies, one stands out: LandSpace. With entirely private funding, the Beijing-based company is on the path for success. The successful testing of the Phoenix in 2018 (a liquid-oxygen/methane rocket engine) was the first time a Chinese company has achieved such a feat.

BT 201907 IN DEPTH 06A Linkspace rocket on March 27 reached 20 meters before hovering and making a powered landing.

LinkSpace, another firm in this industry, has, for the second time in two months, successfully launched and landed a 1.5 metric-ton rocket, which represented another small, yet vital, step to the development of reusable space technology. OneSpace and iSpace are other examples of start-ups that recently launched suborbital rockets in fruitful ways.
 

As it happens in the United States, the private sector is committed to rival, in a healthy way, with the governmental structures and have a word to say in innovation, so much that the technologies produced by these companies are getting international recognition and clients.

BT 201907 IN DEPTH 01An OS-M series rocket illustration from China's OneSpace webpages.

私人市场

私营公司一直是航天工业发展创新和认可的驱动力。
 

2018年,中国私营航天初创企业的股权投资达到惊人的35.7亿元,其中一个突出:LandSpace。完全凭借私人资金。LinkSpace是该行业的另一家公司,它在两个月内第二次成功发射并着陆了一枚1.5公吨重的火箭。OneSpace和iSpace是最近成功发射亚轨道火箭的另外两家初创企业。
 

Business Opportunities

BT 201907 IN DEPTH 07Assembly of a Long March 6 launch vehicle

This industry goes way beyond the manufacture of elements that are directly related to space exploration. Indeed, the development of technologies that can be applied to other industries might be the biggest gain to society in general. As is CASC’s case, their research and production include information technology, new materials, regenerative energy, special vehicles and auto parts, space biology, among others.
 

In addition to this, the government might even play a more essential role when it decides to fund even more the research and development at the university or private company levels.

BT 201907 IN DEPTH 08Engineers test Satellite TY3-12, which weighs 10 kilograms, at a lab of Spacety in Changsha, Hunan province, April 22, 2019.

For start-ups, the biggest trend now, and the one that might be more realistic in the near term, is the development of nanosatellites at affordable prices that can be used for both research and commercial purposes. Weighing less than 10 kilograms and as small as a “shoebox”, these satellites are on the verge of becoming very popular in the next years. Not only universities can use them to conduct their research, but also commercial businesses will be able to offer high-speed internet or remote-sensing and tracking services.
 

Moreover, entrepreneurs from other industries, like Robin Li (co-founder of Baidu), have been advocating the potential of space ventures. Not only China can compete for a bigger cut in the international market, but also can try to impose its technology to newcomers.
 

商业机会

这个行业远远超出了与太空探索直接相关的产品的制造。实际上,可以应用于其他行业的技术,可能是整个社会的最大收获。他们的研究和生产包括信息技术,新材料,再生能源,特种车辆和汽车零部件,空间生物学等。
 

对于初创企业来说,现在最大的趋势,以及近期可能更为现实的趋势是以可承受的价格开发纳米卫星,可用于研究和商业目的。
 

Wrapping Up

BT 201907 IN DEPTH 09A full-size model of the core module of China's space station Tianhe exhibited at the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province.

Even though China started the space program some years after the US or Russia, it has made an effort to keep up at the same level and the signs are clear. However, even if this industry can bring behemoth rewards, it also brings great risks for the small players. One unsuccessful launch can dictate the end of a company and the loss of years of work. This is where the follow up of investors and government can make the difference.
 

Despite this fact, Chinese entrepreneurs do not seem scared and the business environment is expected to keep growing, as more projects achieve their milestones. For them, the sky is not the limit anymore.
 

总而言之

尽管中国但航天工业起步晚于美国或俄罗斯,但仍努力保持同一水平并取得成功,航天业能带来巨大回报,但也有巨大风险,一次不成功,可能就彻底失败,尽管如此,中国企业家似乎并不害怕,随着更多项目实现,对他们来说,天空不再是极限了。

    Subscription    |     Advertising    |     Contact Us    |
Address: Magnetic Plaza, Building A4, 6th Floor, Binshui Xi Dao.
Nankai District. 300381 TIANJIN. PR CHINA
Tel: +86 22 23917700
E-mail: webmaster@businesstianjin.com
Copyright 2021 BusinessTianjin.com. All rights reserved.