The corporate feud over satellites that pitted the west against China

On the final day of February, a group of European financiers and entrepreneurs gathered on a late-night online meeting to resolve a boardroom dispute.

The Microsoft Teams meeting only lasted 35 minutes. But it was enough time for the board to wrest control of the rights to launch hundreds of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites from a majority China-owned company to a subsidiary of a US telecoms group.

It was the latest move in a long-running corporate battle between European and Chinese partners in a joint venture, which has huge ramifications for the future of telecommunications in space.

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