China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently reported that 5G will be available commercially in China in 2020 and that during their projected deployment period, 2020-2025, they plan on spending over $400 billion to meet their end goal. Chinese government-controlled China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom were issued nationwide 5G trial licenses in 2018. They have been carrying out 5G trials in their respective sectors, building 350,000 cell sites, which are to be expanded in 2019 in an effort to claim dominion by 2025.

China already lays claim to being the largest 4G market with 843.7 million subscribers.

China 5G network

During China's first and second phase of 5G trials, five companies including China Mobile, Huawei and ZTE have built 15 base stations in Beijing to support further testing. China Mobile, said to be the world’s largest mobile operator, aims to deploy 10,000 5G base stations across China in 2020. Huawei has managed to achieve positive results by confirming key technologies such as network slicing, service-based architecture, and multi-access edge computing.

Huawei fight, Xiaomi light

Today Huawei, a privately owned company, has taken the lead by setting up 5G wireless infrastructure across the globe and has taken second place as the largest Smartphone vendor.

Huawei has also taken the lead in the political arena with US indictments and the arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada last December at Washington's request. This has all lead to Europe's questioning if there should be a ban over security concerns. Australia has already placed a ban and the US is working to encourage other countries to do the same.

As Huawei fights its battles another private Chinese tech company; namely Xiaomi sees the light in helping China achieve its goals. Xiaomi Corp. has also seen troubles of $6 billion market value drop in January but it sees 5G as its saviour. Chief Executive Officer Lei Jun plans now to focus on expanding more into Europe while pushing its flagship Android-powered Mi Mix 3 5G Smartphone, that is due to come on the market in May.

Xiaomi right now is available in 70 countries and is the world’s 4th largest smartphone brand.

Release of 5G devices

At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, China formally introduced four 5G chip-sets by Huawei, Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Unisoc. They also introduced nine 5G devices that are to be released by China Mobile, Huawei, vivo, OPPO, ZTE, Xiaomi and Samsung. All of which are scheduled to be released in 2019, along with other innovative products. According to Business Insider, China's 5G market is expected to reach 588 million subscribers by 2022. It is estimated by 2025 could account for 3.2 percent of their GDP and generating eight million jobs.