The info comes from an article
published by a partner of Essential Capital, an investor in Galactic Energy. The long piece details its reasoning for backing the firm, including its management (with experience from CALT), the relative maturity over kerolox (over methalox) rocket engines and variable thrust tech, and the apparent demand from numerous planned Chinese constellations, including a mystery ~13,000-satellite, state-backed constellation known as “GW”
For comparison, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Satellite Database
has the following figures, updated in January, shows that China is well beyond Russia but far behind the U.S. in active satellites:
Total number of operating satellites: 3,372
- United States: 1,897
- Russia: 176
- China: 412
- Other: 887
Among those satellites are Chinese civilian and military remote sensing satellites, communications, Beidou navigation constellation, weather and likely early warning satellites in a range of orbits. Many of these have been launched over the past five years, over which China has greatly increased its launch rate.
CASC Blue Book on space activities 2020
A summary of 2020 activities from China’s main space contractor, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., (CASC), states that China launched 39 times in 2020, putting 89 spacecraft into orbit. The total payload was 103.06 tons, an increase of 29.3% over 2019. Of these CASC accounted for 34 launches missions in 2020, carrying launch 82 spacecraft and 99.2% of the total launch mass (102.25t). Chang'e-5, Tianwen-1, Long March 5B and Long March 8 debut launches, Beidou GNSS completion are noted among main achievements. It also reiterates the plans for 40+ launches in 2021 without adding many new details.