China to Renovate BeiDou – Rival to the GPS System Run by America

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Taking its rivalry to a whole new level, China is preparing to renovate BeiDou a celestial navigation system worth around $9 Billion which will replace America run GPS system.

The biggest headache for China is that all the satellites that are used as GPS satellites for location data beam are controlled by US Air Force. Location data beamed from GPS satellites are used by all smartphones, car navigation systems, the microchip in your dog’s neck and guided missiles.

The alternative system, called BeiDou, is currently being developed by the Asian superpower as the nation hopes to lessen its dependence on US tech. Beidou is the Chinese name for the famed star constellation known in many other cultures as the ‘Big Dipper’.

The Beidou Navigation System, currently serving China and neighbours since 2000, will be accessible worldwide by 2020 as part of President Xi Jinping’s strategy to make his country a global leader in next-generation technologies. Its implementation reverberates through the corporate world as makers of semiconductors, electric vehicles and airplanes modify products to also connect with Beidou in order to keep doing business in the second-biggest economy.

Analysts have said the endeavor is one of China’s more ambitious undertakings; a remarkable feat for a nation also working towards conquering commercial space flight, cheap energy via an ‘artificial sun’ and a man-made moon.

China GPS BeiDou

China started developing Beidou in the 1990s and will spend an estimated US$8.98 billion to US$10.6 billion on it by 2020, according to a 2017 analysis by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

Next month, China is scheduled to launch Chang’e 4, a lunar probe that would be the first spacecraft to the far side of the moon. A Mars probe and rover also are scheduled for liftoff in 2020.

The system eventually will provide positioning accuracies of 1m or less with use of a ground

“China needs to have its own satellite navigation system from a long-term, strategic perspective, Beidou is the only option.’’ Wang, NavInfo

Qianxun Spatial Intelligence Inc., a Shanghai-based venture between e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and state-owned defence contractor China North Industries Group Corp., provides positioning services for cars, public safety and civil aviation using Beidou and other networks.

To help stay competitive against budding Chinese counterparts, foreign companies are including Beidou compatibility in their products. Qualcomm Inc., the biggest maker of chips used in smartphones, has been supporting Beidou “for a long time,” the San Diego-based company said. Those chipsets also are used in wearables and automobiles.

Most smartphones from global sales leader Samsung Electronics Co. support Beidou in addition to GPS, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said, as do handsets from local rivals Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp., according to state media. Huawei is the nation’s top-selling brand.

Planes built outside the country currently do not have Beidou but it is believed the nation will require planes flying in China to use the system.

N.B. This story has been published from a wire agency feed.

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