China is taking its rivalry with Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites to a new level.

While notching major wins such as landing on Mars and operating its own space station, China trails the world’s richest man in low-Earth orbit (LEO) — a zone within 2,000 kilometers of the planet’s surface that’s become increasingly attractive for companies such as SpaceX offering high-speed internet access.

SpaceX has deployed more than 5,000 communications satellites at an altitude of around 550 kilometers, but China has made little progress on its own ambitious plans to build a state-owned 13,000-satellite LEO constellation.