Chinese leading automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group announced on Tuesday that it plans to establish a commercial aerospace company in Nansha District of Guangzhou, the capital of southern Guangdong province, seeking to research and develop its own satellite and communications technologies.
The new aerospace company is named Shikong Tansuo Technologies, or “exploration of time and space” in Chinese, and is estimated at more than ten billion yuan ($1.52 billion), The 21st Century Business Herald reported.
Geely will also cooperate with other rocket companies located in Nansha District, including Zhongke Aerospace, also known as CAS Space, which is a spin-off from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2019, CAS Space agreed to jointly build the 99-square-kilometer Nansha Science City with the local government, within which the Zhongke Aerospace facility will be established. It will integrate research, production, final assembly and testing, and eventually will be capable of producing 30 rocket products per year, according to SpaceNews.
Xu Zhihao, chief executive officer of Geely Technology Group, said at the event that Nansha District has enormous potential thanks to its “significant innovations in systems” and “excellent location” in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. “This is why we decided to locate our aerospace company in the district,” said Xu.
The Hangzhou-based carmaker is building low-orbit satellites as demand for high-speed connectivity capabilities that can deliver fast software updates grows, Reuters reported. From around 2025, Geely’s cars will offer more functions related to the satellites.
Founded in 1996 by billionaire entrepreneur Li Shufu, Geely is China’s biggest manufacturer of local-branded conventional automobiles and is ploughing resources into electric vehicles. The company owns Swedish automobile marque Volvo Cars and a 9.7% stake in Daimler AG. Geely’s business sector covers vehicle production, ride hailing, higher education and tourism.