First, this is one of the first examples of a commercial Chinese launch company taking tangible action to address international markets, and with typically rapid Galactic Energy pace. The company, founded in early 2018, has moved more quickly than perhaps any other Chinese commercial launch company, and the agreement with Huateng specifies a target date of 2022 for their international launch. Impressive speed.
Second, the involvement of Huateng is noteworthy. Huateng is a subsidiary of CASIC, and acts as a sort of international and commercial conduit for a parent company that is both very China-focused, and not very commercial. In short, Huateng is to CASIC what CGWIC is to CASC–they are a sort of international trading company for CASIC’s suite of products and services. By partnering up with Galactic Energy, Huateng is not only expanding its range of products/services to include the Ceres-1 rocket, but more curiously, taking on a partner that, in some ways, competes with CASIC commercial subsidiary Expace.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see what role Huateng plays in the commercialization and internationalization of these rockets. For starters, one could imagine Galactic Energy partnering with Huateng would provide the former with more regulatory and financial support, and the latter with more cutting-edge technology.