China debuts Beidou as GPS alternative, global coverage by 2020

Estimated read time 1 min read

For over a decade, China has been developing its own world-wide positioning system in hopes of simultaneously distancing itself from foreign dependence and providing an alternative to GPS. China announced that this month’s satellite launch marks the first time their positioning network has started offering navigational data.

Beijing has named their GPS-alternative “Beidou”, a Chinese word which represents a constellation known colloquially to most English-speaking Westerners as the “Big Dipper” or the “Plough”.

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