Satellite antennas in Shanghai. Credit: gui jun peng, Shutterstock Space is getting crowded. While the U.S. still owns and operates the vast majority of satellites in space, China is the world’s second-largest operator of satellites, with most owned by the government and People’s Liberation Army. China's fleet of privately-owned satellites is also increasing as more commercial satellite companies enter the market and expand — a trend that suits China's military-civil fusion policy as it seeks to foster close ties between government and commercial interests in the burgeoning industry. This week we take a closer look at China’s growing number of satellites and their operators. China Operates Hundreds of Satellites, and the Number is Growing There are more than 2,600 active satellites, according to a database maintained by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an nonprofit science advocacy organization, and last updated in April 2020. The U.S. has 1,308 satellites, followed by China with 356, according to UCS. There are Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.