Biz / Tech

China maintains 5G leadership, even amid virus outbreak

Zhu Shenshen
The coronavirus epidemic has expanded industrial applications for 5G, including use in online education, remote health care, live streaming and industrial robotics.
Zhu Shenshen

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, China has maintained a commanding position in the global 5G market.

China will have 807 million 5G users by 2025, accounting for almost half of the country’s total mobile user base, which will also be the biggest portion worldwide. Carriers in the country are expected to invest 1.29 trillion yuan (US$184.3 billion) between 2020 and 2025, said GSMA, a leading mobile communications industry association. 

China has unique advantages in 5G, including those related to equipment, mobile-end, industrial Internet and huge-scale market, industry officials told an online forum held by GSMA, which was broadcast online on Tuesday night.

The low-cost and rich variety of 5G models and wide applications of 5G will boost its development in China, said Wang Jianzhou, a senior adviser at GSMA who is also the former chairman of China Mobile.

Vendors such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Realme all launched 5G models in the first quarter.

Realme will start selling its latest model, the X50 Pro 5G, as its first 5G flagship model on Thursday. Featuring dual-model 5G support, super-fast charging and a 64-mega-pixel rear camera, the device is priced from 3,599 yuan.

China maintains 5G leadership, even amid virus outbreak
Ti Gong

The Realme X50 Pro 5G will start its sales in China on Thursday.

Unisoc, a Shanghai-based chip designer, has developed its own low-cost 5G chipset. With adoption of the new chipset, more affordable 5G models are expected to arrive this year, said Chu Qing, Unisoc’s CEO.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, 5G became a tool to fight against the epidemic, said industry insiders.

COVID-19 has expanded industrial applications for 5G, including use in online education, remote health care, mobile live streaming and industrial robotics, said Xu Ziyang, CEO of ZTE.

Mobile World Congress Barcelona, with GSMA as organizer, had been cancelled due to the virus outbreak. But GSMA plans to host Mobile World Congress Shanghai this summer.

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