SOURCE / ECONOMY
Chinese firms show off latest 5G capabilities in defiance of US crackdown
Major advances highlight US’ failure to contain China’s rise
Published: Aug 31, 2021 09:04 PM
Students get a taste of virtual reality (VR) with 5G technology in a smart experience center in Hefei, East China's Anhui Province on Thursday. China's telecoms carriers have been providing 5G plus VR service to customers since last year. Photo: cnshphoto

Students get a taste of virtual reality (VR) with 5G technology in a smart experience center in Hefei, East China's Anhui Province on Thursday. China's telecoms carriers have been providing 5G plus VR service to customers since last year. Photo: cnshphoto

Chinese telecommunications companies showcased their latest 5G technologies and solutions at a major industry event on Tuesday, underscoring China's continued advances in such a critical area despite the US' escalating crackdown campaign against Chinese companies. 

The dazzling 5G solutions and products exhibited at the 2021 World 5G Convention, which kicked off in Beijing, highlighted the failure of the US' ill attempt to thwart China's 5G development by suppressing Chinese telecom companies like Huawei, industry analysts noted. 

As one of China's largest event for 5G products and technologies, the gathering will see the display of more than 620 types of 5G applications for traditional industries. Eleven forums will also be held during the convention, of which eight will focus on 5G in specific sectors such as health, intelligent education, carbon neutrality and the industrial internet, according to media reports.

Huawei, China Mobile and China Telecom are among the dozens of other domestic telecom companies that exhibited cutting-edge 5G products and solutions at the 2021 World 5G Convention, which is being held in Beijing from Tuesday to Thursday.

China Mobile will exhibit the solutions it provides to apply 5G to industries, families and emerging markets, according to a statement the company sent to the Global Times. 

For example, it will display the details of a project where it created a 5G service-oriented network for the local government of Pingshan district in Shenzhen, so that officials could get access to services like remote monitoring and internal meetings under a 5G network. 

Huawei will also exhibit a number of scenarios in which it integrates 5G with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, and apply those technologies to specific industries like mining, steel and chemicals, according to media reports.

The convention's opening, as well as its myriad exhibits, is vivid reflections of China's unparalleled achievements in the past two years of 5G commercialization, experts said. 

"China's 5G industries have topped the world in almost every aspect, whether it's infrastructure network building or applications," said telecom industry expert Fu Liang.

Fu added that China only lags behind in terms of 5G millimeter wave technology as well as 5G chips, compared with some countries. 

In terms of 5G base stations, China has built about 819,000, accounting for more than 70 percent of the world's total, according to official data in May. 

As to research and development, about one-third of the world's 5G patents are represented in applications from China, according to a report of IP intelligence tool IPLytics in February 2020. 

In particular, the 5G gap between China and the US is widening in favor of China. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the US had some 50,000 5G base stations around the end of 2020, only about 7 percent of China's total.

Xiang Ligang, an independent telecom expert, said that the US government has described 5G as a "war" the country can't lose, but it's inevitable that it will lose to China.

One important reason is that US telecom operators are not highly motivated to invest in 5G networks, as they don't think 5G will mean a lot of incremental profits compared with the existing 4G networks, according to Xiang. Chinese telecom operators, on the contrary, are actively implementing the national strategy of developing 5G, as they approach the issue not from the short-term commercial perspective but the long-term development, Xiang said. 

China's 5G advances showed that the US' plan to thwart China's 5G developments by cracking down on Huawei and other companies has failed, experts said. 

According to Xiang, the US crackdown may have pushed Huawei to speed up its 5G business, and while the sector can't completely offset Huawei's loss in the mobile sector at present, the 5G segment is likely to show explosive growth at some point and bring ample returns to Huawei as an early participant. 

"Huawei's business data showed that although its mobile business has been impacted to some extent by the US crackdown, it is far from having life-threatening problems," Xiang said. "In general, Huawei showed strong abilities to cope with US pressure."


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