Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
A model of China’s BeiDou navigation satellite system on display at the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai in 2018. (Picture: AP)

China nears completion of GPS rival BeiDou

China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is on course to be completed next year, with all medium Earth orbit BeiDou-3 satellites launching by the end of 2019

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

China is one step closer to launching BeiDou, the country’s own satellite navigation system that rivals the US-developed GPS.

By the end of this year, China will complete all medium Earth orbit launches of the BeiDou-3 system, according to BeiDou's official website. BeiDou-3 is the last stage of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, and it will eventually consist of 35 satellites in three orbits: Medium Earth orbit, inclined geosynchronous orbit and geostationary orbit. The BeiDou-3 global network will be completed next year, the report says, completing its global rollout.
China aims for the People’s Liberation Army to adopt the independently developed and operated BeiDou, completely replacing GPS. China is also promoting its use to other countries participating in its Belt and Road Initiative. It hopes the system will “meet the needs of the country’s national security as well as economic and social development,” according to a 2016 government white paper. Most new smartphones from Chinese brands already support BeiDou.

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our award-winning Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.