More than 110 million Chinese are now connecting to 5G networks, or so reports the China Academy for Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a think tank that falls under the Ministry of Industry and IT.
That makes China the largest buyer of 5G in the world. The numbers are striking given that it was only a year since the first 5G consumer plans hit the market and a little over a year since the first commercial 5G licenses were released.
In June, the three Chinese state telecoms had approximately 1.6 billion mobile subscribers, suggesting that there are those who have more than one mobile device. Market penetration is therefore limited for the time being.
5G in China
The rollout of 5G is a national ambition in China in which all parties work together; the government, network providers, manufacturers of telecom equipment and software developers. This has resulted in a lightning-fast expansion of the infrastructure. China already had more than 460,000 5G base stations in July. The government wants to push that number to 600,000 by the end of 2020.
A clear winner of the stormy developments around 5G is Huawei, which makes 5G devices as well as develops the infrastructure that underpins the 5G network.
Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi
Meanwhile, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and their rivals are rushing to launch 5G compatible handsets. According to recent data from CAICT, more than 93 million 5G phones have been sold in China so far this year. 60% of the handsets sold are 5G-enabled.
The rapid developments around 5G are also driving demand for components such as integrated circuits (IC). The country produced more than 100 billion ICs in the first half of 2020, 16.4% more than a year earlier. This growth can be fully attributed to 5G.