China’s own global navigation system is now complete. Today, the country launched the last of the satellites that comprise its Beidou Navigation Satellite System, CNBC reports. Beidou has long been seen as an alternative to the US government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS), and it’s part of a larger push to increase China’s tech influence globally.
China began planning its own system in the late 90s, and the first version of Beidou was in service by 2000. This is the third phase of Beidou, and it’s seen as the completion of the system, which shouldn’t need another major upgrade until 2035.