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China's satellite imagery capabilities coming into sharper focus
13 September 2013
The Chinese government, which over the past 20 years has been one of the world's biggest markets for commercial Earth observation satellite imagery, has achieved autonomy in medium-resolution imagery and expects to reach that goal in submetric imagery within three to five years, according to China's Center for Resource Satellite Data and Applications (CRESDA).
The good news for China's domestic industry is not as good for the half-dozen or more commercial satellite imagery companies, mainly in North America and Europe, that have counted on China as a big growth opportunity for the foreseeable future.
China's increasing self-sufficiency has already cost several satellite image providers, including RapidEye of Germany and Astrium Geo-Information of France, revenue in the past couple of years as China's domestic satellite builders have proved capable of building satellites with ground resolutions of between 2 and 5 metres.