Placing your order for a Satellite plus Data Service via a click on your cell phone is no longer a faraway dream, after China’s space industry giant China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) set up a one-stop Commercial Platform on Social Media which is accessible to the Public.

In a form that is basically identical to general e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, CASC launched a commercial satellite-shopping platform called Lizheng Satellite Shopping Mall on WeChat.

Customers, domestic or abroad, can pick their favourite satellites and put them into shopping carts on their phone, and even talk to customer service personnel about details of their purchases.

The price of the services was not shown on the platform. A CASC insider who is familiar with the platform told on Thursday that “due to the satellite merchandise being fairly expensive, the platform currently only displays key technological specifications online, without naming the price, in order to avoid unnecessary hassles.”

After putting the merchandise into their shopping carts, customers can talk directly to the customer service online and ask about a deal. Down payments are essential, he noted.

The satellites made available for sale range from 50 kilograms to 300 kilograms, and ground measurement is available via a 12-meter antenna ground station or a smaller 7.3-meter one.

These satellites could be used in the fields of communication, infrared remote sensing, agricultural and emergency response applications.

The platform supports whole-satellite service as well as ground measurement and data analysis services.

Data processing services will be carried out by the Gaofen Shanghai Center, which has provided monitoring systems for China’s remote sensing Satellites Gaofen-1 to Gaofen-7.

According to the CASC, China’s commercial launch vehicles, including the Long March-11 solid-propellant rocket and Jiulong commercial solid rocket series will be carrying out launch services for orders placed via the platform.

China successfully launched a Long March 11 carrier rocket at sea for the first time in June 2019, and such breakthrough is believed to be able to meet the growing launch demand of low inclination satellites and help China provide launch services for countries participating in the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative.