According to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China has over 1.15 million 5G base stations. This accounts for over 70% of 5G base stations in the world. The Asian country is also the world’s largest and most technologically advanced in terms of 5G independent networking. Since the commercialization of 5G, the adoption rate of 5G devices has been quite massive. The number of 5G users in China has been increasing significantly. Presently, most of the smartphones that arrive on the market support 5G. Interestingly, there are now cheap 5G chips and entry-level smartphones can now support 5G.
According to Xie Cun, Director of the Information and Communication Development Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, currently, in all prefecture-level cities, more than 97% of counties and urban areas have 5G connections. Furthermore, 40% of towns in China have 5G network coverage and 5G terminal users now exceed 450 million. This is over 80% of the total number of 5G users globally.
According to reports, the application of the 5G industry is expanding rapidly. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology organized activities such as the 4th “Bloom Cup” 5G Application Contest and the National 5G Industry Application Large-scale Development Conference. There were more than 10,000 5G application innovation cases in China, covering industry and medical care. These applications also cover education, transportation, and other industries.
Presently, China strives to have 26 5G base stations per 10,000 people. It also hopes to achieve full coverage for cities and towns and basic coverage for administrative villages. For key application scenarios, China is planning for deep coverage. The 5G access rate of administrative villages is expected to reach 80%.
80% of smartphone shipments in China this year support 5G
According to a recent report from Strategy Analytics, 80% of smartphone shipments in China support 5G. The report shows that this figure is far ahead of what is obtainable globally.
Strategy Analytics believes that the success of 5G smartphones in China is a result of the country’s vigorous promotion of 5G. Also, there are multiple promotions from carriers and price cuts for 5G smartphones.
In terms of specific manufacturers, Oppo and Vivo lead the Chinese 5G smartphone market. We also have the likes of Xiaomi and Apple with significant sales. These manufacturers have a plethora of 5G smartphones and 5G users in their portfolio.
Strategy Analytics claims that smaller Chinese brands are facing difficulties. In addition to Oppo’s Realme and OnePlus, and Meizu, which focus on the high-end market, small manufacturers are suffering from the shortage of mainstream 5G chips. These shortages also lead to rising costs which is not good for these companies. Many of these companies are now using Spreadtrum chips to launch entry-level 5G smartphones (below $150).
By 2023, China’s 5G application development level will significantly improve. Its comprehensive strength will continue to increase and the 5G personal user penetration rate will exceed 40%.