Travelers wearing protective masks wait for the airport shuttle to arrive at Sanyuanqiao Subway Station in Beijing | Photographer: Giulia Marchi | Bloomberg
Travelers wearing protective masks wait for the airport shuttle to arrive at Sanyuanqiao Subway Station in Beijing | Photographer: Giulia Marchi | Bloomberg
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China is building tens of thousands of 5G base stations every week. Whether it wins technological dominance or not, domestic supply chains may be revived and allow the country to maintain – and advance — its position as the factory floor of the world, even as Covid-19 forces a rethink in how globalization is done.

By the end of this year, China will have more than half a million of these towers on its way to a goal of 5 million, a fast climb from around 200,000 already in use, enabling faster communication for hundreds of millions of smartphone users. By comparison, South Korea has a nearly 10% penetration rate for 5G usage, the highest globally. The much-smaller country had 115,000 such stations operating as of April.

The towers are part of a raft of projects that the State Council announced last week to boost industrial innovation under the “New Infrastructure” campaign aimed at furthering “the deep integration of the Internet of Things” and the real economy. With an aim of spending $1.4 trillion by 2025, the aggressive buildup toward a more automated industrial landscape will give China a renewed advantage where it already dominates: manufacturing.

The coronavirus shut down factories and industrial sectors, triggering a rethink of supply chains – away from China. What analysts are calling “peak” globalization and the rise of factory automation could shift production to higher-cost countries in North America and Southeast Asia. It will take a while, but the global dependence on China will come down, the thinking goes. Still, with trade ravaged by Covid-19, other countries and telecom operators will struggle to match China’s spending.

For China, there’s an opportunity to clear the way to forcefully implement its industrial policy agenda, without interference from criticism over subsidies and unfair competition. The so-called Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission, headed by President Xi Jinping, has approved a three-year plan to give state-owned enterprises yet more sway in the economy.

Beijing’s ambitious programs are still in the construction phase. Macro base stations are the nuts and bolts of building out 5G networks, and will exceed their 4G predecessors by almost 1.5 times. Capital expenditure could peak at $30 billion this year, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts, up from $5 billion last year. Beijing wants more local governments and companies to get involved. Each station costs around 500,000 yuan ($71,361) and has a long value chain that includes electrical components, semiconductors, antenna units and circuit boards. The vast number of companies spawned by the project are all contributing to China’s push to get ahead.

For the industrial complex, the onset of 5G will enable greater connectivity between machines and much more data transfer and collection. Fifth-generation technology is expected to have a big impact through increasingly efficient and automated factory equipment, and tracking the movement of inventory and progress of production lines and assets. Manufacturing is expected to account for almost 40% of 5G-enabled industry output, according to  Bernstein Research analysts.

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From sensors and data clouds, to chips and collaborative robots and computer-controlled machinery, a whole universe of little-known Chinese companies is coming to the fore. Memory chip maker Gigadevice Semiconductor (Beijing) Inc. has ridden the trend, as has Yonyou Network Technology Co., China’s version of Salesforce.com Inc. For some of these companies, government subsidies are a significant part of earnings, as my colleague Shuli Ren has noted. Stock prices have surged in recent months for firms like Shennan Circuits Co., which makes printed circuit boards, and Maxscend Microelectronics Co., a manufacturer of radio frequency chips. Some are seeing their market capitalization values balloon by billions of dollars as Beijing has upped the ante on new infrastructure.

To be sure, it isn’t hard to imagine a hinterland speckled with ghost towers and base stations in coming years as China’s propensity to overbuild beyond any reasonable capacity kicks in. The past shows that questions of quality will arise when too many sub-par manufacturers crop up, incentivized by the state’s largesse. Nonetheless, this is the technology of the not-so-distant future, and building up the basic infrastructure isn’t misguided.

As Covid-19 absorbs the world’s attention, Beijing’s steady focus on implementing this industrial policy may make China the manufacturer of parts that most countries will need – soon. In other words, it will yet again become the factory floor, mastering the production of all things 5G.- Bloomberg


Also read: Wuhan showed us how Covid could spread, now it offers clues to how economies may recover


 

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86 Comments Share Your Views

86 COMMENTS

  1. Our rulers have killed ITI, CDOT etc. ITI was killed by Sukhram who started Himachal futiristics as telecom minister by robbing exchanges from ITI, our govt kills BSNL and MTNL by not giving them 4G asking them to use huawei and then stop tenders. Our useless govts are responsible for not making telecom available to masses with good products and R&D. Every telecom minister leaves a scam. Huawei started by robbing technology from cisco, juniper, killing nortel and copying many gear makers, it is CCP and chinese govt funding and stealing that has enabled this 5G growth of China. Huawei has limitless coffers while our govt kills our telecom manafacturers like ITI and CDOT

  2. Right, china can further increase efficiency in manufacturing with 5G. But efficiency was never a problem as they are cheap and efficient even now. But their geo political ambitions with OBOR, unsustainable debt, communist domestic iron fist has put the western world in a state of alert and dried up business from them. Gulf countries too have this problem. But they allow the west to interfere in the problem, allow the west to supply arms, ammunition, and these gulf countries reinvest in western cos the profit they earn which is a win win situation. China is not allowing the west to interfere geo politically or buying weapons from the west. The problem is now they can only look at the domestic market and some 3rd world unaffordable markets like Africa, Iran, Pakistan etc for their products. Without money supply from developed economies, China needs indian market to partially leverage its manufacturing efficiency. Chinas game plan will be successful only it creates a turmoil where it can force the west to line up at its doors for items or die. Corona was its trump card. Ppl r dying, now china needs to integrate 5G with medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, R&D , and create a challenge to the west in saving lives. Then the west will once again line up as ppl demand life saving medicines and affordable healthcare.

    • In 2018, floods resulted in over 20 casualties and billions of yuan in damage in China, with the government issuing 835 flood warnings nationwide.
      As global temperatures rise, the combination of extreme weather events and sea-level rise threatens the basic infrastructure and water security of low-elevation Chinese cities. Coastal residents account for 43% of China’s population – approximately 170 million citizens live less than ten meters above sea level.
      In fact, seven of China’s ten largest cities are on the coast, creating high stakes for the government to address impending threats of flooding and sea-level rise. Shanghai, China’s largest city, is on the frontlines of climate change as one of the world’s most flood-vulnerable major cities. Shanghai’s government was eager to invest in the sponge city initiative and expand greenspace, rooftop gardens, and porous pavements to control stormwater floods.

      However, officials have been hesitant to invest in climate adaptation measures that don’t create a big splash, like the unglamorous networks of sewage and wastewater infrastructure.
      What’s so scary this is not over in Wuhan with those wet markets reopen this will be a place for diseases to really grow and develop.
      Did you see all that slit and waste debris? I can all most guarantee that the wastewater system combined with sewer flooding has mixed with the sewer system and discharge on to the streets.

      That right there will create all types of disease and if Flies and Mosquitoes breed off sewage stormwater this creates the perfect idea environment of another virus to develop.

      Rain Water
      Mosquitos lay their eggs in water, so flooding rains are ideal. Those heavy rainstorms leave behind puddles and standing water which fosters mosquito larva.
      This means more mosquitoes are being bred, and then those mosquitoes breed more in turn.

  3. We are still not relieve from 2G corruption and our most of the villages are even not having Electricity and installing 5G base station is the opportunity to make money to our politician not to the people.

  4. The print is a pro China media house. They survive selling pro China propaganda on the cost of Indian citizenship.

  5. Lol.You guys must be high on some grass supplied to you by your Chinese benefactors.How else do you explain your China chant amidst the global unrest created by China?
    You guys got no soul,no self respect.You are good at one thing undoubtedly i.e. stooping to new depths.
    Nobody with an iota of reasoning skills is gonna believe your articles.It is easily understandable how you are trying to glorify the might(pun intended) of a country which is finding it hard to stay afloat.Factory floor of the world! Nice joke.

  6. Many of the comments have one theme: Don’t tell. I am scared. Ergo, I don’t want to know. Sadly, life is real and it sometimes kicks you in your teeth.
    It may be useful to trawl the ‘net and see for one’s own eyes, the sheer size of Huawei’s R&D centre.
    They ideated, they spent money, they bore the bills that the R&D guys were running up. Now and in the future, they will make up the trillion dollars.
    Indian businessmen, spent their money on paying Erickson/ Nokia for gear and proudly told pink papers that their purpose was to give telephony to Indians and Africans, not tech gear!
    Well, they shall pay much more to Ericksons and Nokia and keep on telling Indians and Africans that they have fastest 4G in India. Who will do R&d for India? Will it be CDot which Janata Govt killed And Sam Pitroda said mobile phones were ‘an obscenity’ in poor, poor India and the great RS Prasad says we shall not let Huawei steal our secrets (his authority? Uncle Donald in the WH) .
    India has many clever people but business people who will pay for only six months and politicians who only know pride and that India had Pushpak viman in Ramayana.
    It is disgusting to read the main article and worse, the comments.

    • Indians have an inferiority complex with respect to China and the west, and it is difficult to be objective. They have a sense of entitlement to Great Power status – solely based on population. They do not work to achieve it like China.

  7. No …China is not going to win this dogital war of 5G that harms nature. I am saying this not out of any emotional sentiment but because Time After Time and year after year it’s been proven that if you go against nature then nature always sooner or later sends its own mutation to reply back. And They r not advancing….they are on a parth of self destruction. There is superb info in You Tube if you type “lifi 5g 4g analyse lucid dreams media”.

  8. No …China is not going to win this dogital war of 5G that harms nature. I am saying this not out of any emotional sentiment but because Time After Time and year after year it’s been proven that if you go against nature then nature always sooner or later sends its own mutation to reply back. And They r not advancing….they are on a parth of self destruction. Got this superb video on effects of 5G:
    https://youtu.be/jp5P3eaZaPs

  9. India and China should work together. It’s not clever to have enemies right beside the border. See how Canada and USA work, or European countries work. If India and China keep fighting we will escape the Western dominance

  10. Any more kind of automation will lead to human job loss. I dont necessarily see this as a positive sign in countries like ours and China. Also flagging and gloryifying a communist country for achieving something is like praising a dictatorship for achieving tech milestones. There is nothing more cringeworthy them readimg articles like this about a country that is only advancing with ‘economy’ and massively dropping their standards as ‘good’ and ‘responsible’ human beings. I am omly referring to their leadership and not the people. They are disliked by most democracies and are tolerated by all those other countries who desperately need their money. They have destroyed several small economies in the name of ‘economical development’ and left them with sand, cememnt and massive debts. So i ask again what exactly about the villainous economoical and technological achievement is worth flagging and celebrating?

    • What is India’s human rights record recently ? India has neither economy nor human rights. Only cow lynchers. That is the best Hindus could produce. Yet Hindus believe they are the vishwa guru and entitled to superpower status. Chinese have worked to reach that state.

  11. Take this shit lie of a left dem commy article and get a life. Good for China and its Trillions of lies. In North America we want zero to do with China. Even started shutting off the tap to pur canadian immigration lol. So happy we tossed that Chinese witch into jail from Huawei. China could blow up tomorrow and the entire planet would party

  12. And it’s the same story like the longest bridge in China vs in india how ndtv covered it ……zero credibility ..you are surviving on our outrage and it’s limited by democracy

  13. Who wants 5 g now ? Is it worth all the investment? Lot of questions are still not clear. Is China’s 5 g going to be another OBOR ?

    • No …China is not going to win this dogital war of 5G that harms nature. I am saying this not out of any emotional sentiment but because Time After Time and year after year it’s been proven that if you go against nature then nature always sooner or later sends its own mutation to reply back. And They r not advancing….they are on a parth of self destruction. There is superb info in You Tube if you type “lifi 5g 4g analyse lucid dreams media”.

  14. Indeed China is master of 5G technique ,world better knows it except India ,perhaps India doesn’t need 5G technology

    • China is a suppressive / dictatorship country. China shows the world “HOW TO STEEL TECNOLOGIES, REVERSE THE AGREEMENTS & KILL ITS OWN CITIZENS most importantly NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH” its better not to have 5G rather than kill hundreds – thousands of your own citizens & deprive every individual the right of freedom, except a few…

      • ‘its better not to have 5G rather than kill hundreds – thousands of your own citizens & deprive every individual the right of freedom, except a few…’

        India is also doing that in Kashmir, against minorities with CAA-NRC laws.

        • dear rosogolla
          care to explain ur understanding of the caa-nrc laws? i wouldnt be surprised if your intellect is comparable to ur name – rosogolla … lol

  15. Anjani ji, it’s a good article. But more I’ve noticed that you’re feeling very proud during the write down of this article, don’t you! But literally it’s not a problem at all, belief me. Talking about technology, always welcome by all. But setting a base to so many like me regarding Geo political and deep controversial Huawei’s 5G technology in order to capture world’s DATA base, is a stupidity thing. 5G means trillions of DATA, fast transfering of DATA and analyzing the DATA within a second. Then why don’t they fly a balloon into the sky along with 5G networking systems, actually 300 such balloons required to cover the whole world. And that systems will give your mobile bill free of charge almost for long term basis. Follow it and China’s trillion of dollars will be saved! But Chinese are definitely not doing that. Actually they are selling narcotic technology, the more you entire into it, the more you greedy; the more you greedy, the more you spend; the more you spend, the more you flourishing Chinese economy. Isn’t it!
    Madam, give me your feedback.
    Be Corona free, be safe.
    Regards
    Sunit Biswas
    Kolkata
    Regards
    Sunit

  16. Are you eating money? Nonsense article who wrote still earning. This is unfortunately modern world. Sick people😁😁😁

  17. True journalism in today’s world is dead and hardly any or no research is done…..news according to the people who own the media…… hardly any truth.

  18. Have arealistic and positive approach approach towards nation built up and give positive suggestions for instead of writing what they give you do demoralise ourselves Be a positive positive Indian atleast if you can not help

  19. This is stupid thinking and paid piece by CCP as usual as many of these types appear on The Print. Ok let us say for a minute China is leading in 5G and automating all of the industries in China. Given the geo-political situation and imminent ban on Huawei by nearly all advanced economies that do not look for dole from China how is this going to be leveraged. So where does the major demands for chinese products came from? How is the global supply chain avoiding a risk of another pandemic orginating from China? What about security concerns that are currently raised against China and CCP globally? What about south china sea actions, HK actions, Taiwan actions, actions against India etc, how do they factor in? Looks like a simpleton who do not have any in-depth thinking has written this piece. Economic demands and outputs are multi-dimensional. China has lost a lot more politically across the world especially with the G7 countries in 2020 more than the last 20 years combined. It will have an impact. Go figure.

  20. China can push tech at will as no human right activists, distractive and destructivr press plys agsinst govt . I India our press in thr name of freedom subserve tbe purpose of foreign forces incl china, the west and thoose not want india to progress and want to depend on ghem for technilogies. We had the semiconductor corporation set up long before china started to become a power and the so called behemoths in software, telecom abd IT (ICT) did only body shopping and made money on the platforms provided by foreign companies. Govts akso didnt have vision smd politicians looking only at making money in thr shortest possivle time. Its time to wake up and act at lightening speed to user in new technologies. mind we have no dearth of skilled people, it only neex to think how to harness the layent talent. Eve n US has more open democracy but their people sidnt stop tech to innovate itself.

    • Don’t make excuses for Indian ineptitude. India is stuck due its casteism and communalism. That is not going to change. Hence, India’s poverty and backwardness are here to stay. It is a product of its Hindu culture. Are you willing to tackle that ?

      • I see you come here for every article and eat shit about India always.. either you are from Pakistan or traitor living in India. put some knowledge and avoid ignorance.

  21. Time and history always teach us every single time to be self reliant to sustain any circumstances on global platform GET PREPARED before it’s too LATE, INDIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM is little LAZY, it’s right opportunity in Times of human kind to go full throttle and challenge every situation.

  22. Hope”The Print” stops bootlicking of PLA and start behaving like responsible media house even it’s unofficially under the payroll of PLA.

  23. Keep praising China at this time when China is confronting India militarily so that the morale of Indian leftist socialist and all opposing the one man leading the country today remains high

  24. It might be tough but other countries should keep away from china 5g
    Develop their own 5g
    If china can do it others can too
    Nobody wants to be slave of CCP mafia

    • The thing is that developing technologies requires a lots of research and development and patents. And it costs you a big buck which every country/national brand can’t afford . So it is profitable to buy this products and solutions.
      And 5g is a need to cop high data consumption. And more IOTs . And AI based industries. And much more.

      This will destroy millions of jobs. This is reality and even future is worse. If we see the rise of AI.

  25. I’m not surprised that such china positive news can come only from the print.. Or the wire. I read a few more.. And its all about how ‘China is winning this and that’..

    Are they also investigating and writing about the geowing NPAs of Chinese banks and the scams that are beginning to unfold?? The CCP is known to have several media agencies and prominent journolists in their pockets…. Im wondering..

    • Indeed we believe India is the vishwa guru, so how can we believe China is leading. Can you publish some stories on how India is the vishwa guru ?

  26. Please keep china’s cook & bull stories at bay. We hate China & not interested to read their propaganda & that too from their rumour mongerers. Restrain from uploading such nonsense in future. Your unwanted news are unwelcomed!!!

  27. 5G is bad.. environmentally and also health wise. . Better to ve real good 4G which isn’t working at even 20% 😣🤨

  28. This article looks like a chinese funded promo of their “great 5G”. Even Global Times can’t beat this.

  29. Winning the 5G war with just the local adoption which is still in the initial stages of IOT evolution. IMHO China will have no chance of winning as the semiconductor/ processors required for this application will not be available from US. China doesn’t have the capability or capacity to produce the same. Which means the prediction of 5 million towers installation will be very difficult if not impossible. With so many western companies already moving ahead in the race from USA, Europe, SK and other developed economies will ensure Chinese initiatives are just the flash in the pan.

  30. They have already manufactured lot of equipment now no county is buying so deploying in their country to do surveillance better of their own people..

  31. There are no advantages in store for China in anything in the future … it’s going downhill pretty fast .. within a year or two, Tibet, Taiwan & Hongkong will be free and the CCP will crumble to be replaced by democracy. Thereafter, when a new China stabilizes, we can take up & see what will happen to the 5G work ‘going on in full swing’ now !!

  32. Good , chinese economy will grow now with its domestic market. Also good for people with advance net work facilities to use without any freedom of speech or expression of personal opinions. Like keeping a plate of mummy food in front but tying of hands at back. Congrats to chinese people , have fun…

  33. Waiting for indian “human rights” activists to say how internet is a tool of the privileged and how it fosters inequality.

    • China success is a result of rational n logical mind,,,an environment of science n innovation…n more over a indescriminatory system without corruption…
      India lacks every quality which China poses, it has feudal corrupt system,,, a barrage of communal n casteist insane leader…which is unfortunate for india n it’s poor people

      • Agree with you. We are empty, but we have insane leaders who proclaim we are vishwa guru, and an even dumber mass of people who believe it.

    • Conservatives only post nonsense and blames others.i don’t understand why some privileged criminals have so much abomination towards human rights?

    • In India, the internet is a tool to be used by the ruling Hindu party to send fake messages and incite hate and communal riots. Their horizons are limited to that. That is why India is not going anywhere.

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