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36Kr/KrASIA

Chinese startup looks to beef up space-related supply chains

Space Factory creates e-commerce tech site for booming sector

Space Factory operates an online trading platform for the space industry. (Photo courtesy of Space Factory)

BEIJING -- China's commercial space industry has skyrocketed since 2015, with revenues totaling 836.23 billion yuan ($12.9 billion) in 2019 as the sector also pushes up demand for related parts and facilities.

But the industry needs a more technologically advanced supply chain if it really wants to shoot for the stars.

Space Factory intends to be a player. The startup -- incubated by Future Space, a Chinese aerospace consortium -- pairs companies with trading houses, primarily targeting corporate customers.

The company is like an e-commerce platform for the space industry, where businesses access product and corporate information and even make payments. It also has simple business tools, such as supplier and order management functions along with sales reporting and data analysis.

According to Ning Shaojie, a Future Space executive in charge of Space Factory, in less than six months since its launch the platform has already facilitated domestic and foreign deals.

The platform is easy to use, letting customers buy products as if they were visiting typical e-commerce sites.

Space Factory aims to increase the number of companies on its platform. Although China has about 500 private space development companies, only 70 or so have become registered users. Ning wants to see 300, as more users mean higher revenues, making it imperative that the platform improves order management and efficiency.

The startup has signed exclusive contracts with a number of companies, pricing products identical to those of its partners.

Currently, Space Factory does not tack on fees for purchases through its site, as it remains focused on solidifying a presence in the growing supply chain rather than reaping profits over the short term.

36Kr, a Chinese tech news portal founded in Beijing in 2010, has more than 150 million readers worldwide. Nikkei announced a partnership with 36Kr on May 22, 2019.

For the Japanese version of this story, click here.

For the Chinese version, click here.

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