The mission's main contractor, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, declared the launch as a success on Friday, as the spacecraft headed toward the moon.
China is quickly expanding its space capabilities – through both CNSA and state-backed companies. China led among countries expanding market share in the space industry during the third quarter of this year, according to a report by investment firm Space Angels.
"The simple but often missed point is that this new space age is global, which seems to get lost in the U.S.," ARK Invest analyst Sam Korus told CNBC about the Chang'e 4 mission.
2018 has seen China pour more than $217 million in space companies, nearly matching the $230 million invested in all of last year. Of the $16.1 billion invested in private space companies and partnerships since 2009, China now represents 3 percent, with about half a billion dollars. That may not seem like much – but nearly all of China's investment has come since 2016.
and Reuters contributed to this report.