China prepares for a new space industry

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– Now that Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson went into space, other billionaires will definitely follow them. China’s super-rich people are also looking for adventure and business opportunities in the skies, but they will stand firm on their feet.

The country’s tycoons are avoiding space tourism and research that Elon Musk goes even further, focusing instead on businesses such as satellite manufacturing and rocket launches, which support China’s ambitions in space.

“The government likes to be celebrated for achievements in space — the right to brag,” said Lincoln Hines, assistant professor and China expert at the Air Force College. USA in Montgomery, state Alabama… very niche role.

China is second only to USA as the source of the 500 largest billionaires, but it has tons of wealthy people willing to get involved.

Zhejiang Company Geely Holding Group Co. Li Shufu said in February that she had received a license to manufacture more than 500 satellites a year at her facility in eastern China. Lei Jun, with the support of the co-founder Xiaomi Corp., billionaire Shunwei Capital, has invested in companies such as satellite maker Galaxy Space. In 2019, the developer Land Space Technology Corp. led by the richest woman in China Yang Huiyan as a result of fundraising led to the launch of a rocket startup Country Garden Holdings Co.

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When it comes to rocket and satellite launches, “China has recognized the value of using the private sector,” said Rajeshwari Pillai Rajagopalan, head of the Observer Research Foundation’s Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative. New Delhi.

Their ambitions, huge as they may be, contrast with the daredevils, the sensational feats of the likes of Jared Isaacman, founder of Shift 4 Payments Inc., tasked with flying in Earth orbit on a spacecraft created by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. told about his desire to go to Marsbut has yet to set a date for his first space travel.

Insofar as Xi Jinping leads the government, pursuing such high-profile characters as Jie Shi, the former chairman Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Jack Ma, billionaires are more wary of pushing back the state for a few minutes of weightlessness.

The party wants to remind these billionaires who are really in charge, Hines said. I don’t think there is a charismatic CEO for any of these Chinese space companies.

China put the rover on Mars in May and then last month, sent astronauts to work on the space station under construction. Chinese astronauts have never visited the International Space Station, and politics USA, first made public in 2011, bans most contacts between OUR and his Chinese counterparts.

According to Masayasu Ishida, Tokyo-based director of Kearney and CEO of the Spacetide Foundation, the Spacetide Foundation, a non-profit organization that organizes conferences on the topic of space business.

Chinese startups can count on generous financial support. Isida said the country’s commercial space companies raised $ 2 billion in investment last year, up from $ 800 million in 2019. With governments, including at the provincial level, accounting for half of the total, he expects the momentum to continue.

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“China’s space industry is still at an early stage of development,” Ishida said. “In the future, others have opportunities to enter the space industry.

At the moment, ambitious space plans Geely‘s Li are behind schedule. In February, the company said it would launch satellites in the first half of 2021, but has not announced them since. Representative Geely declined to comment.

According to Blaine Curcio, founder of Orbital Gateway Consulting, a satellite and space communications research firm, it will only be a matter of time before new Chinese tycoons in Hong Kong enter the sector.

Curcio said there are quite a few centimillionaires and billionaires out there who can sniff out. The government of the world’s leading infrastructure investment – entrepreneurs are starting to grow in this sector as they try to commercialize the infrastructure that is being built.

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