Chinese firms carry the torch at the world's top telecommunications show

Zhu Shenshen
The MWC was back after being forced to cancel events in 2020, and top Chinese companies showed off new technologies and products, targeting the high-end markets.
Zhu Shenshen

Chinese firms had a huge presence at the world's biggest telecommunications show in Barcelona this week, with several of them displaying advanced technologies like 5G, AI, VR and smartphone innovations.

Over 50 Chinese firms, including China Mobile, Honor, HTC, Huawei, OPPO, Realme, TCL and Xiaomi, attended the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022.

The MWC was back after being canceled for two years because of the pandemic.

The 5G-Advanced Technology Evolution white paper, which is expected to set industry standards and applications between the 5G and 6G eras, is one of the highlights.

China plays an important role in 5G development and standards as it is home to the world's most 5G users and base stations, said Sihan Bo Chen, head of GSMA China. The GSM Association is the organizer of MWC events.

On the international stage, Chinese mobile phone brands released flagship models with new features, like foldable screens, AI and fast charging.

The brands are "carrying the torch" for the MWC as they are "more popular with customers all around the world than ever," US-based tech media outlet Verge reported.

TCL unveiled its concept model, the TCL 360-degree Ultra Flex, and a few other models. Li Dongsheng, TCL's chairman and a National People's Congress delegate, is presenting proposals to the ongoing Two Sessions on upgrading, financing and global expansion of the Chinese manufacturing industry.

5G-Advanced white paper

China Mobile, along with over 20 industry partners, released a 5G-Advanced Technology Evolution white paper at the event.

Almost half of the partners are Chinese firms including domestic carriers, equipment vendors Huawei and ZTE, smartphone vendors such as OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi, chip designer Unisoc and Internet giant Tencent.

Chinese firms carry the torch at the world's top telecommunications show
Ti Gong

A white paper on the evolution of 5G technology is released at the MWC. Many Chinese firms contributed to the paper.

The white paper on 5G-Advanced, a transition between 5G and 6G networks, gives advice for the next step in the evolution of 5G networks. It covers a wide range of industries and allows 5G to have more social and economic value.

By the end of 2021, there will be 200 5G networks in 78 countries and regions. According to the GSMA, 5G connections will reach 1.8 billion by 2025, up from 200 million in 2020.

The 5G-Advanced intelligence trends require AI, Digital Twin, and other advanced techs, according to Huawei, a major contributor of the white paper.

Eyes on global market

Honor, a spin-off brand from Huawei, aims to regain global market share this year with the global release of its flagship Magic 4 at MWC.

Magic 4 features a triple camera combination, the industry's first 10-bit Log 4K video recording for cinematic-level effects, and Snapdragon 8 as Qualcomm's flagship processor. Prices start at 899 euros (US$991), making Honor a new rival in the premium market to Samsung and Apple.

Zhao Ming, Honor's president, said it's the beginning of a "counter-attack" in the global high-end market. He emphasized the "Honor can do" strategy in his keynote remarks at the MWC.

Chinese firms carry the torch at the world's top telecommunications show
Ti Gong

Zhao Ming, Honor's president, releases the company's latest flagship model, the Magic 4, at the MWC.

Honor has 11,000 employees globally, with six research centers outside China, including those in France and Japan. It has established distribution channels worldwide and cooperates with over 200 carriers globally.

Realme, a young Chinese startup smartphone brand targeting the mid-range market, released high-end products with the Realme GT 2 models at MWC, several months after their Chinese debuts.

The MWC release is Realme's first major foray into the premium flagship market globally, as those models cost up to 849 euros (US$937). The Realme GT 2 model features a 2K display screen and a super-thin design linked to the paper.

Chinese firms carry the torch at the world's top telecommunications show
Ti Gong

Realme's design and smartphone are displayed at the Paris Fashion Week.

Founded four years ago, Realme's sales have passed 100 million units globally, with top-five market positions in 21 regional markets. In 2021, its sales reached 60 million units, making it the world's fastest-growing brand.

China and Europe will become dual "growth engines" for the company in 2022, allowing it to meet its 50 percent annual growth target.

This week, Realme also launched a new smartphone V25 in China, with memory up to 12GB, big-capacity battery for 49-hour calls, and super-fast charging technology.

It features an optional color inspired by the Forbidden City. The design ideas are used in bags and apparel and displayed at the ongoing Paris Fashion Week.

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