Alibaba and Chinese weapon maker invest millions in new satellite positioning company

Million dollar company will not only provide positioning services but also data accumulation and data fusion.

E-commerce giant Alibaba and government-owned China North Industries Group Corporation--also known as Norinco Group--launched Qianxun Positioning Network, a satellite positioning service provider, in Shanghai on August 18, 2015.

Qianxun, which literally means "to quest for a thousand times", has a registered capital of 2 billion yuan ($313 million) and is equally owned by both of its parent companies, according to a statement issued by Norinco Group on Tuesday.

The company will provide precise positioning services to the nation, industries, and the public by combining the technology of cloud computing with the country's fast developing BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. It will also provide data accumulation and data fusion services.

As the country's mouthpiece Xinhua reported in late July, China sent another two BeiDou satellites into the Earth's orbit with a single rocket launch. The latest addition to the BeiDou--the No.18 and No.19 satellites--will sync with the other 17 satellites and further perfect the system which has been operating since 2000; it is expected to be completed by 2020 with a capability of providing global positioning services.

According to its company website, Norinco Group is the major research body of the country's army, as well as a source of information technology and equipment for the whole military. As of the end of 2014, Norinco employs 276,600 staff and is worth of 326 billion yuan ($51 billion). It also ranked 144th on the Fortune Global 500 in 2015.


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