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Beidou Shanghai base prospers alongside national navigation industry

LMS| Updated: January 9, 2023


The Beidou West Hongqiao Base is expected to further promote the digital development in the Yangtze River Delta region. [Photo by Zhou Haitao/Yicai]

The Beidou West Hongqiao Base, which was established in 2013 in Shanghai Hongqiao International Central Business District, has been a witness and beneficiary of China's booming navigation industry.

As the first Beidou-related industrial park that started operations in the country, the base has seen the number of its companies rise from the initial 10 to  more than 300, and the total output value surged from hundreds of millions of yuan to 5.47 billion yuan ($807.92 million) in 2021, representing an average annual growth rate of over 40 percent.

The base has gathered 70 percent of companies that are closely related to the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) application in Shanghai, with a 10 billion yuan industrial cluster taking shape that is centered on the BDS application.

The BDS is a project built and operated by China as a component of the country's national security and economic and social development strategy. After many years of development, it has become an important new element of China's infrastructure, providing high accuracy, round-the-clock positioning, navigation and timing services for global users in all weather conditions.

"All kinds of companies involved in the Beidou industrial chain can be found in the Beidou West Hongqiao Base," Fang Shu, the base's chief operating officer, told the media outlet Yicai.

"In addition to companies, the base has research centers that offer companies technological support and testing services," Fang added.

Shanghai AllyNav Technology Co is among the first companies that set up operations in the base. 

"The complete industrial chain is nice for start-ups like us, for we can learn a lot from industrial leaders," said Zhang Xiaoming, general manager's assistant of the company.

According to Zhang, there is a Beidou industrial alliance in the base with more than 100 members, and they often hold discussions to seek cooperation opportunities.

During the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, the base aims to create a Beidou space information industrial cluster with an output value of more than 50 billion yuan, which is expected to drive a digital economic output value totaling 100 billion yuan.

To help reach the goal, Shanghai plans to also implement a series of measures including setting up special funds, promoting industrial infrastructure construction and accelerating key technological breakthroughs to boost the Beidou industry development in the metropolis.

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