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News > China

China Grants 5G Licenses for Commercial Use Amid Cold Tech War

  • People at a 5G testing park in Shenzhen, China May 29, 2019.

    People at a 5G testing park in Shenzhen, China May 29, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 June 2019

Chinese consumers will soon be able to use a tech apps that will allow them to easily access the 'Internet of Things'.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced Thursday that authorities granted 5G commecial use licenses to four national companies: China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network.


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"The 5G technology will establish a new, fast, mobile and secure information infrastructure," MIIT Minister Miao Wei said and explained that his country welcomes foreign companies to "participate actively" in its market.

"Rather than a protocol or device, 5G refers to an array of networking technologies meant to work in concert to connect everything from self-driving cars to home appliances over the air," Will Knight wrote for the MIT Technology Review and added that such technology will make it possible to "use virtual and augmented reality. On your smartphone."

Due to its sofisticated features, 5G will "favor the growth of the Chinese digital economy, accelerate the transformation of many industries and will be used more intensively in the industrial and automotive sectors," Minister Miao said.

The research, use and development of the technology is expected to generate US$1.54 trillion and over 3 million jobs between 2020 and 2025 alone, according to report released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

It is also expected that the 5G networks, which allow data to be exchanged at a higher speed, foster a massive use of the "Internet of Things".

This announcement occurs as the U.S. President Donald Trump promotes a "cold tech war" against China. His administration accused Huawei of being a national security threat and included it at blacklist of companies that are denied access to U.S. technology and markets.

Huawei, which leads the development of the 5G technologies and infrastructures worldwide, filed a March lawsuit in a U.S. court against the government for targeting the company under the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. It asked the court to declare the act unconstitutional in late May.

China Unicom, the world's fourth largest company by number of users, build 5G network points throughout Beijing and 16 other Chinese cities.

Likewise, iQiyihas, a China-based online video platform similar to Netflix, is working with China Unicom to make virtual reality products, which will be easily accesible to users thanks to 5G.​​​​​​​

Currently, the 5G industry encompasses network equipment makers, smartphone manufacturers, chip makers and apps creators. ​​​​​​​

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