Space Commerce

China’s Second-Tier Satellite Manufacturers

By Blaine Curcio
October 12, 2023
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China’s Second-Tier Satellite Manufacturers
HITSat factory concept in Harbin.
Image credit: HITSat.

It’s no secret that China has been launching satellites at a dramatically increasing rate over the past several years. According to data from Orbital Gateway Consulting, China successfully orbited 30 satellites in 2017, and is on pace for well over 200 satellites in 2023 (in 2022 the country successfully launched 182).

Today, most of these satellites are still built by a handful of usual suspects that have historically dominated China’s space industry, namely the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology (SAST), and the two companies’ various subsidiaries. Other players such as CGSTL and CAS SECM have emerged as contenders over the past decade (CGSTL being founded in 2014, SECM being created as a spinoff of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the 2000s), but even these two players come from well-established space industry pedigrees.


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Blaine Curcio

Blaine Curcio is the leading Chinese space industry analyst, having been based in Greater China since 2011, and having been working in the space and satcom sector since 2010. He is founder of Hong Kong-based Orbital Gateway Consulting, a research and consulting firm focused on the Chinese space sector, and is Affiliate Senior Consultant at Euroconsult, a leading space industry consulting firm.