Info-tech

China gives green light for local 5G rollout amid tech tensions with US

PTI Beijing | Updated on June 06, 2019 Published on June 06, 2019

The technology is expected to generate 10.6 trillion yuan (about USD 1.54 trillion) worth of economic output and over three million jobs between 2020 and 2025

China on Thursday gave its major state-owned companies the green light to start rolling out 5G services in its efforts to move ahead in the global race for setting up the super-fast telecommunications system, amid simmering tensions with the US over technology and trade.

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Thursday issued 5G commercial licenses to China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Radio and Television. It means those carriers can start rolling out commercial 5G applications. They were given a license for testing at the end of last year.

What is 5G ?

5G is the next generation cellular technology with download speeds stated to be 10 to 100 times faster than the current 4G LTE networks.

The 5G networking standard is seen as a critical because it can support the next generation of mobile devices in addition to new applications like driverless cars.

Chinese officials say a comprehensive deployment of the network will help develop industrial manufacturing, internet-connected cars, healthcare, smart city management and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The 5G technology will establish a high-speed, mobile, safe and widespread new-generation information infrastructure, MIIT Minister Miao Wei said at the license presentation ceremony.

The technology is expected to bring new opportunities and buoy the growth of China’s digital economy, Miao said, adding that it will accelerate the digital transformation of many industries, and will be more intensively used in sectors such as Industrial Internet and Internet of Vehicle.

China’s tech growth

The technology is expected to generate 10.6 trillion yuan (about USD 1.54 trillion) worth of economic output and over three million jobs between 2020 and 2025, according to a research report by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

China, as always, welcomes enterprises at home and abroad to actively participate in the building, application and promotion of its 5G network and share the sector’s development dividends, the MIIT said.

The 5G is being tried in several places in China, including Tibet.

Read more: Donald Trump wields a more powerful weapon than tariffs - Tech exports

In March this year, Hongkou district district in Shanghai city claimed to have become the first using both 5G coverage and broadband gigabit network.

Shanghai has developed what it claims to be the first district boasting both 5G coverage and a broadband gigabit network, state-run China Daily reported.

The 5G stations are being installed in different parts of the China including Tibet as part of Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s plans to lead the 5G trials despite the opposition.

Huawei has become a central part of a US-China power struggle which started out in trade, and is now being played out in the technology sector.

US’ allegations

The US has encouraged allies to block Huawei - the world’s largest maker of telecoms equipment - from their 5G networks, saying the Chinese government could use its products for surveillance.

Huawei has denied official links with the Chinese government.

Huawei rejects this claim and says it is independent from the government.

Huawei ban and US-China Trade war

Still, some countries including Australia and New Zealand have blocked Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G mobile networks.

Efforts by Washington to block Huawei escalated last month when the Trump administration put the company on its “entity list”, which prohibits US companies from trading with the firm unless they have a licence.

Read more: Trump plays good cop on Huawei after Pompeo’s European threats

China also protested to the US over its efforts to extradite Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, who has been arrested in Canada to face prosecution for violations of US sanctions against Iran. Meng, daughter of Huawei owner Ren Zhengfei has been accused of for allegedly misleading banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.

China and the US have also been fighting a trade war over the past year, imposing tariffs on billions of dollars of one another’s goods.

Published on June 06, 2019

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.