Briefing: Chinese Wi-Fi tech company to send 272 satellites to space

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30亿元发射272颗卫星惹争议,连尚网络如此回应 – Sohu

What happened: LinkSure, Chinese private Wi-Fi tech unicorn, announced on November 27 that the company will launch 272 satellites to improve connection coverage and speed. The company’s ultimate goal is to prove free Wi-Fi globally by 2026. In 2019, LinkSure will send the first satellite of the plan to space at national Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The satellite will also be China’s first private Wi-Fi satellite. A budget of RMB3 billion ($431.6 million) will be allocated for the project. By August, 2018, global monthly active users of LinkSure’s network reached 900 million, the company claims.

Why it’s important: Private company LinkSure’s space plan is also part of China’s national space strategy. During the project launch event, a managing president from LinkSure mentioned the State Council’s policy advocacy on private enterprises’ potentials in space technology. Meanwhile, the 272 satellites are also very crucial data collection infrastructure that will assist AI and IoT development in China. LinkSure did not mention any other communication projects (like 5G) other than Wi-Fi, and elaborated little on the company’s relationship with Chinese government.