AI Vibes: China makes headway in digitalization

By Sheng Chuyi (People's Daily Online) 16:09, April 01, 2024

China's 5G penetration rate surpassed 50 percent in 2023, as noted in the country's government work report this year, drawing considerable attention.

China reached this milestone two years earlier than predicted by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association. The association had estimated that China's 5G penetration would exceed 50 percent by 2025.

This achievement underscores China's prowess in mobile communication technology and highlights the burgeoning development of the country's digital economy.

According to statistics, China's online retail sales totaled 1.2 trillion yuan ($166 billion) during the 2024 Spring Festival shopping season, which ended on Feb. 17, with a daily average year-on-year increase of about 9 percent. In January of this year, 14.7 billion express parcels were shipped across China, surging 84.8 percent from the previous year. Additionally, rural online retail sales on key e-commerce platforms, monitored by the Ministry of Commerce, increased by 16.1 percent year-on-year during the Spring Festival shopping season. These impressive figures stem directly from the robust backing of digital technologies.

As the world's largest developing country, China has built 5G networks that cover all counties and extended broadband internet services to all villages. Over 80.3 percent of administrative villages across the country are covered by 5G networks. Rural and urban areas have essentially achieved parity in network quality and speeds, which is a tremendous achievement.

In the past four years since China issued the first 5G license for commercial use, the country has built over 3.3 million 5G base stations, and the number of 5G mobile subscribers has surpassed 800 million. This clearly indicates China's leading position in the world in both the development and application of 5G technology.

On Feb. 26, Chinese tech giant Huawei officially launched the world's first 5.5G intelligent core network solution, which is planned to be put into commercial use this year. Compared to 5G, 5.5G can provide a tenfold improvement in areas such as connection speed, latency, positioning, and reliability.

In recent years, Chinese companies have continuously achieved breakthroughs in core technologies, including 5G radio frequency transceivers, leading globally in the number of declared 5G standard-essential patents.

Currently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and relevant enterprises are focusing on the next-generation internet, taking the lead in planning and comprehensively promoting research and development in 6G technology.

With the support of 5G and other technologies, China has become the first major economy in the world where the number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices exceeds that of mobile phone users. China accounts for over 70 percent of the world's mobile IoT connections. More than 95 million devices are linked to China's industrial internet platforms, reflecting the country's growing digital productivity.

Today, 5G technology has been applied in 71 major categories of China's national economy, with deep penetration in industries such as manufacturing, mining, power, ports, and healthcare. Looking ahead, the technology is expected to be applied in broader aspects, enabling an even more powerful impact across various domains.

(Hou Nuoshuqi, as an intern, also contributed to this video.)

(Web editor: Sheng Chuyi, Wu Chengliang)


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