China: Explosive Growth In The Digital Economy

China has over 110 million 5G users and is expected to have more than 600,000 5G base stations by the end of this year, covering all cities at prefecture level and above, according to the 5G Innovation and Development Forum held on Sept 15 during the Smart China Expo Online in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality.

Since 5G licenses for commercial use for more than one year were issued, the country has made steady progress in the construction of its 5G network infrastructure, said Han Xia, director of the telecom department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, adding that Chinese telecommunications companies have already built over 500,000 5G base stations with over 100 million 5G internet terminals.

So far, 5G has been deployed in sectors and fields including ports, machinery, automobiles, steel, mining and energy, while 5G application has been accelerated in key areas such as industrial internet, Internet of Vehicles, medical care, and education, Han noted.

The value of the country’s industrial internet hit 2.13 trillion yuan last year, Yin Hao, an academician from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said at the forum, adding that the figure is expected to exceed 5 trillion yuan in 2025.

The integrated development of “5G plus industrial internet” can create new products, generate new models and new forms of business, reduce enterprises’ operating costs, improve their production efficiency, and optimize their resource allocation, Yin noted.

According to Chen Shanzhi, vice president of the China Information and Communication Technologies Group Corporation (CICT), the combination of 5G and other emerging information technologies, including artificial intelligence, cloud computing and big data, will help accelerate the integrated development and innovation of other sectors and bring about explosive growth in the digital economy.

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