StarTimes Group was founded in 1988 by Chinese engineer Pang Xinxing, who is also the company's current chairman. In 2002, StarTimes began to expand its business to Africa. In 2007, it became the first digital television operator licensed by Rwanda. Since then, StarTimes has established subsidiaries in 30 African countries.
In 2009, StarTimes and the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation formed a joint venture to roll out digital migration. In February 2016, StarTimes was awarded a DTH license in Ivory Coast. Operations began in October 2016.
On 23 November 2016, StarTimes was one of the three companies selected by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to establish and operate DTH distribution services in Pakistan for 15 years. On 2 September 2017, the Government of Chad and StarTimes signed an agreement on digital migration. After a lengthy process, StarTimes was chosen to build a Digital Terrestrial Television network that will include digitization of national infrastructures, television broadcast and reception. In 2018, StarTimes began to implement "Access to satellite TV for 10,000 African villages", a China-Africa cooperation project aimed at giving rural areas of Africa access to digital media.
The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and StarTimes launched in Zambia in 2017 TopStar Communication Company Limited, a public signal distributor and Zambia’s official digital migration agent, as a joint-venture.