China Satellite Communications Co. Ltd. (ChinaSat) operates 13 commercial satellites. ChinaSat is based in Bejing, China and is a core professional subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
During China’s reform period, satellite TV has had a more problematic history. Like cable, dynamic for its development, came as part of the 1983 reform. As part of the government’s overall project of providing television services to the entire nation, China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite Corporation (ChinaSat) was formed under the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television.
In 1993 interdepartemental rivalry saw ChinaSat switch allegiances to the Minitry of Posts and Telecommunictions (ChinaSat 2000). Satellite TV technology is a potent expression of the post-Mao nation-building and modernization ideology of the government and the CCP. It’s capacity to bring television signals to the most remote areas and its use of extremely costly a sophisticated military-derived technologies of rocketry, telecommunication and computing make satellite and internationally visible demonstration of China’s emergence as a world power. The CCP gevernment’s pre-occupation with promoting this particular view of China’s nationhood and also maintaining its position as the China’s nation’s only legitimate representative, gave it a strong motivation to invest heavily in satellite technology in the 1980’s.
ChinaSat began in 1985 by leasing transponders on Intelsat, and purchased the aging Spacenet-1 in 1992. In 1988 China used its own rockets to launch two American-built Dongfang hong (The East is Red) satellites, so that by early 1990’s, China had begun to acquire significant satellite capability (ChinaSat 2000).
The finance available for developing and implementing satellite technology encouraged other Chinese ventures. As a result China Aerospace, the Defense, Science and Technology Commission, The People’s Bank of China and the Government of Shanghai formed SinoSat in 1994. SinoSat dominated the Chinese satellite market and used European satellite technology rather than American hardware. German industrial companies like Daimler Benz and Dornier show interest in the Chinese satellite industry.
The China Direct Broadcast Satellite Company operates the ChinaSat communications satellites. The series were previously operated by the China Satellite Communications Corporation, and before that the China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite Corporation, which was owned by China's Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.
Satellites that were operated by the Sino Satellite Communications Company and the China Orient Telecommunications Satellite Company was renamed with ChinaSat designations following their mergers with the China Satellite Communications Corporation to form China DBSAT. ChinaStar-1 became ChinaSat-5A, Sinosat-1 became ChinaSat-5B, and Sinosat-3 became ChinaSat-5C.
Hong Kong based telecommunications companies were also active during this period; AsiaSat, a consortium of Chinese, Hong Kong and European telecommunications companies including the China International Trust & Investment Corporation, Hutchison Whampoa and UK based Cable & Wireless (AsiaSat 2000). In 1990 AsiaSat-1 satellite was launched by the group, which was China’s first commercial satellite.
ChinaSat enjoys the richest satellite resources in China. The Company has a professional team, outstanding system integration capacities and provides 24/7 quality services as well as integrated (space & terrestrial) satellite communications and broadcasting services.
Media in China: Consumption, Content and Crisis by Mark Harrison