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In this article, the Nikkei Asian Review reports that BeiDou, China’s satellite positioning system (another implement to gather and monitor the data of its citizens) has surpassed its US equivalent in market size. In 2018, China launched 18 satellites, whereas by comparison the EU has just 22 altogether. It’s expected that the market for these location data services will reach 180bn euros by next year. Middle Eastern and African countries are already using Chinese navigation systems and if this becomes standard practice, China will lead the way in introducing new technologies and products in the future. It seems that for ambitious companies, making products which are compatible with the BeiDou is a must despite the fact that it is raising alarm bells for the US security services over the possibility of cyberattacks.
Why does this matter? If adopting the BeiDou becomes the standard across the world, China will become the market leader in introducing new technologies and products, leaving the US behind which has traditionally been at the forefront of technology. Of perhaps more concern to Western governments is President Xi Jinping’s strategy to develop a smaller, smarter military – and Beidou’s crucial role in this.
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