Biz / Tech

China's 5G user base passes a record 400 million

Zhu Shenshen
The surge means that one in four mobile users in China is using 5G services.
Zhu Shenshen
China's 5G user base passes a record 400 million

A worker installing a 5G mini-station for in-room communications.

The number of 5G users in China passed a record 400 million in the first quarter – one in every four subscribers – the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Tuesday.

China is speeding up 5G base station construction this year, supporting 5G applications in the industrial, education and other sectors and kicking off elderly-friendly 5G services to boost 5G development and the digital economy, the ministry said.

5G is now an "artery" feeding the development of the information society and digital infrastructure construction in China, Zhao Zhiguo, the ministry's spokesman, told a broadcast conference hosted by the State Council Information Office on Tuesday.

In the first quarter, China added 48.1 million 5G users to reach a total of 403 million – passing the 400-million mark for the first time. The penetration rate hit 24.3 percent.

The 1-gigabyte broadband network now coves 320 million families nationwide, giving them access to super-fast broadband services.

China will build 600,000 new 5G base stations this year, including 134,000 already built in the first quarter.

5G and related mobile services will also be adapted to make them suitable for aged, disabled and price-sensitive groups. These include services such as "one-click" for hailing taxis and reporting emergencies. In the first quarter, 325 app and website developers launched such tailored apps, helping bridge the digital divide.

The MIIT has strengthened regulations on apps and websites, which have sometimes been responsible for the leak of personal information and excessive data collection in breach of laws such as the Personal Information Protection Law.

The ministry inspected 610,000 apps in the first quarter and found 134 breached laws and policies.

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