A US$435 million satellite China built and launched for Venezuela is encountering serious technical difficulties, the South China Morning Post reported. The Simon Bolivar Satellite, sold to the Venezuelan government but launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province, is a 5-ton communications platform for radio, television and data transmission, and was originally scheduled to be handed over in February after testing. The Venezuelan government stands to lose face should the handover be delayed, as it has claimed that the satellite will prove that Latin America need not depend on the US for technological advancement. The Chinese space export industry would suffer the most, however, as this is the second failure of a Chinese satellite sold to another country in a month. The Nigcomsat-1, a similar satellite sold to Nigeria, failed within a year due to a solar-panel breakdown. A senior official in charge of the Nigcomsat-1 program was sacked.