The remarkable growth of China’s technology and innovation in the international stage has demonstrated the country’s determination to become a global leader in the digital space. Mobile technology, as an innovation enabler, has become a focused area China hopes to command, particularly after its diversion from the global norms in the 3G and 4G era. Committing early in the standardization process will give China an edge to influence internationally and generate notable economic impact domestically.
China is one of the pioneers in 5G R&D, which sees the world’s first 5G test being guided and planned by the Government. It has already started the third phase of 5G technology R&D tests, ahead of schedule, where domestic and international companies have joined the field trials, aiming to get pre-commercial 5G products ready. China is aiming to launch commercial 5G service in 2019, bringing one year ahead its original schedule. It will put her among one of the first markets to launch 5G services, along with the US, Korea, Australia, and the UK.
Chinese technology giant Huawei and ZTE, have put forth vastly more proposals—and are among the biggest owners of key patents—underpinning the coming wave of 5G technology. As of early February, the Chinese tech juggernaut owned 1,529 “standard-essential” 5G patents, the most of any company. Companies from China own 36% of all 5G standard-essential patents, more than double their share of comparable 4G patents, according to data-analytics firm IPlytics.
China sees 5G as its first chance to lead wireless technology development on a global scale. European countries adopted 2G before other regions, in the 1990s; Japan pioneered 3G in the early 2000s; and the US dominated the launch of 4G, in 2011. But this time China is leading in telecommunications rather than playing catch-up. In a TV interview, Jianzhou Wang, the former chairman of China Mobile, China’s largest mobile operator, described the development of China’s mobile communication industry from 1G to 5G as “a process of from nothing to something, from small to big, and from weak to strong.”
by Wang Zhuowei