Beijing announced several policies
in support of general R&D, of which several were directly relevant to space. Notably, the city offers financing to “support science & technological achievements”, with R&D focused on industrializing rockets, satellites, and ground terminals. For companies investing more than RMB 10M into production equipment over the course of a given year, the city will reimburse up to 20% of the cost, for a maximum of RMB 20M per company.
Lastly, what may be bigger news than initially meets the eye, we saw a ceremony between leadership of China Satellite Networks Limited
(China SatNet), the Chongqing Municipality, and the Liangjiang New Area (a new area of Chongqing) on December 29. The main purpose of the event was the inauguration of the China SatNet Application Company Limited (中国星网网络应用有限公司) and the Chongqing Satellite Network Systems Research Institute Company (重庆星网系统研究院公司), two subsidiaries of China SatNet that will be set up in Chongqing. However, there were quite a few additional nuggets of information to extract from this ceremony.
Arguably the most notable is a statement from China SatNet Chairman Yang Baohua that “the construction of a national satellite internet system, and the establishment of China Satellite Network Limited, are major strategic decisions made by General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Party Central Committee”. (杨保华在致辞中表示，建设国家卫星互联网系统、组建中国星网是习近平总书记和党中央作出的重大战略决策).
The ceremony also saw agreements between China SatNet, Chang’an Auto, and Chongqing Unicom (a subsidiary of China Unicom). Chang’an Auto is one of China’s largest state-owned carmakers, and the agreement will focus on “satellite internet, mobile communications, Internet of Things, broadband data, navigation enhancements, internet of vehicles, etc.” With Chongqing Unicom, SatNet will be developing new applications and new business models for satellite internet.