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Chinese New Space: Space Angels Report Reveals China Leading Global New Space Investment

OneSpace’s Chongqing Liangjiang Star/OS-X1 rocket launches from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre at 04:10 UTC/12:10 local on 7 September 2018. Photograph courtesy of China News Service.

U.S. New Space investment company Space Angels has released its Space Investment Quarterly for the third quarter of 2018, and the report reveals that China is now the leading investor in New Space companies, expanding its market share more than any other country.

“The investment landscape is seeing steady global growth, with China expanding their market share faster than any other country,” according the Space Angels report.

Elsewhere in the global New Space sector, the Space Angels report says that it, “is seeing high-quality investment opportunities around the globe and across all sectors—particularly in robotics, secure communications, and deeper in the satellite value chain.”

According to Space Angels, Chinese New Space companies raised as much as U.S.$69 million of investment in the third quarter of 2018, more than any other country in that same time period. 2018 has already seen China invest U.S.$217 million in its New Space companies, close to the U.S.$230 million China invested in all of 2017.

Of the U.S.$16.1 billion invested in New Space companies and other ventures around the world since 2009, China now holds three percent, with approximately U.S.$500 million, of global New Space investment.

While that amount of investment does not seem like a substantial number, it should be noted that most of China’s New Space investment has occurred since 2016. In that year the Chinese government introduced new legislation and policies directing a large part of its space investments and activity into New Space companies.

“A few years ago, people suddenly started paying attention to the incredible progress [the Chinese] government was making,” Space Angels CEO Chad Anderson said in an interview with CNBC, a U.S. business news outlet. “Now their market share of private investment in space has gone from 0 percent to 3 percent in just the last three years.”

Anderson notes that the majority of Chinese New Space investment has been poured into its growing commercial satellite launch sector, with companies such as Landspace, Expace, OneSpace, iSpace, and LinkSpace making headlines in 2018 with numerous test launches.

“It’s really only launch companies they’re investing in, which makes sense since access to space is a key enabler of other technologies,” Anderson told CNBC.

“But there’s also Gilmour Space in Australia and OneSpace in China, with four other Chinese small launch companies coming online,” Anderson added in his interview with CNBC. “The first Chinese investment was in 2014 with LinkSpace, but [China] only really started investing significantly in 2016.”

The third quarter Space Investment Quarterly published by Space Angels can be found here.

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