China is hoping to expand the usefulness of its Beidou navigation satellite system by investing 5 billion yuan (US$810 million) to create an industrial park meant to house companies developing products using Beidou's technology.
In a report Thursday, China Daily said the industrial park will be situated in the city of Tianjin and is expected to be fully operational in two years' time. The 27-hectare site, called Beidou Strategic Emerging Industrial Park, will house between 30 and 50 companies said Miao Qianjun, secretary-general of the Global Navigation Satellite System and Location-based Service Association of China.
Miao added these companies are expected to offer products and services worth some 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) by 2017. "Many excellent Beidou products, with imaginative functions and design, will emerge,'' he said.
He added the association estimates the Beidou ecosystem will help create a domestic market worth 400 billion yuan (US$64.4 billion) by 2020, with an annual growth rate of 30 percent to 50 percent.
Analysts had earlier said that while coverage of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) remains inadequate given that it only covers Asia-Pacific and the Chinese government is involved in its development, the importance of the Chinese market for smartphone and navigation satellite system manufacturers means BDS will gain traction in the coming days.