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Chinese Willing to Support BeiDou Navigation System instead of US GPS

Apr 17, 2018     Email"> PrintText Size

People in China are eagerly looking forward to the nation's own navigation app that's expected to debut next month and improve navigation accuracy to within 1 meter.

Many netizens expressed the hope of shifting from the global positioning system (GPS) to China's BeiDou navigation and positioning system.

"I'm very happy to see that Chinese are willing to support BeiDou," said Xu Ying, a BeiDou navigation expert at the Academy of Opto-Electronics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

However, she noted that downloading the app to a smartphone doesn't necessarily mean Chinese can use the BeiDou system immediately.

"It's the chip installed in the smartphone that determines which navigation system to use. If your mobile phone doesn't support BeiDou, no app can help," Xu said.

Many models of smartphone brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Meizhu, HTC and Nubia support BeiDou, and more are expected to become available.

Named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation, BeiDou aims to rival the US GPS system, Russia's GLONASS and the EU's Galileo as an alternative global satellite navigation system.

The project was formally launched in 1994. It began to operate in China in 2000 and expanded to the Asia-Pacific region in 2012.

China plans to launch 18 BeiDou-3 satellites in 2018.

The system is expected to provide navigation and positioning services to countries and regions along the Belt and Road routes by late 2018. By about 2020, when the BeiDou system goes global, it will have more than 30 satellites.

Over the past five years, the system has helped rescue more than 10,000 fishermen. More than 40,000 fishing vessels and about 4.8 million commercial vehicles in China have been equipped with BeiDou, said Ran Chengqi of BeiDou.

China has sold more than 50 million domestically manufactured chips connected to the BeiDou navigation and positioning system in the past five years.

By 2020, the value of China's satellite navigation business is expected to surpass 400 billion yuan ($58 billion), of which 240 billion to 320 billion yuan will go to the BeiDou system, Ran said. (Xinhua-Global Times)

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(Editor: CHEN Na)

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