Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Credit: Phoenix7777, Creative Commons When the iPhone 12 was unveiled in October, with new features like an ultra-wide camera lens and faster processing chip, many people may have missed something in the fine print: the iPhone is compatible with Beidou’s satellite system. Beidou, translated as ‘Big Dipper,’ is a satellite-based navigation system tasked with providing geolocation data to devices all across the globe. And it is China’s answer to GPS, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense starting in the early 1970s. The first Beidou satellite was launched by the Chinese military in 2000, and the network was completed this summer with its 55th satellite. While Beidou is a new system, it is already making a global mark, as evidenced by companies like Apple producing Beidou compatible products, and countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) signing up to use Beidou data. And the completion of Beidou is yet another example of the deepening technological fissure between China andSubscribe or register to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.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.