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China to Build Its Own ‘Starlink’ Satellite Network, Aiming for 26,000 Satellites

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China is set to begin construction this year on its own version of Starlink, a satellite internet constellation utilizing low Earth orbit. 

According to a report by Japan’s Nikkei, the plan involves launching around 26,000 satellites to provide global coverage, positioning China as a formidable competitor to the United States in space technology.

In 2021, Beijing established the state-owned China Satellite Network Group, also known as SatNet. This move followed China’s notification to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) about its plan to launch approximately 13,000 satellites to create a high-speed internet network.

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Chinese media sources report that the initial phase of this ambitious project will see the launch of about 1,300 satellites, or 10 percent of the total planned, from the first half of 2024 through to 2029. This initiative represents a significant step in China’s quest to establish itself as a leading space power.

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