The Sino-US competitive relationship is not limited to the trade field, but also lies in the field of science. Competition in technology has begun. 5G represents a great leap forward over its relatively pedestrian predecessors, and different countries and enterprises are competing to enter this field. 5G infrastructure is a strategic resource. China is more ambitious in the 5G field, causing anxiety in the United States.
Why 5G is so important?
5G is an upgrade based on 4G/LTE technology, and the transmission speed will become faster. According to the R&D organization, the 5G transmission speed is about 20 times faster than the existing technology. The new transmission speed will increase the average quality of video transmission to 8K resolution.
In addition, 5G technology also provides a development platform for new areas such as virtual reality and Internet of Things. The agricultural industry, automotive and industry can all be innovative from 5G new technologies. For example, autonomous cars will depend on the development of 5G technology. Faster transfer speeds make remote control more reliable and no longer delayed.
China has a first mover advantage
5G has long been included in China’s key development areas, including China Manufacturing 2025 and Thirteen Five-Year Plan. China also aims to commercialize 5G technology by 2020. Since a few operators basically monopolize the world’s mobile telecommunications network, 5G technology needs to be recognized globally. China draws on the experience of developing 3G and 4G and actively participates in 5G standards. Through participation in international organizations, China uses international methods to develop and deploy 5G industries.
China is also the market share leader in base station architecture. Only a few companies around the world participate in the testing of 5G equipment suppliers and global operators. Due to the cost advantage of Chinese companies’ products, Huawei has surpassed Ericsson to become the world’s largest mobile connection device manufacturer with a market share of nearly 30%.
Top Five Telecommunications Equipment Vendors in 5G Network Trials
Data source: Stratfor research
The worries from US
The leadership of Chinese companies in the 5G trial triggered US attention. The United States is concerned that Chinese corporate equipment may pose potential security risks. According to media reports, the United States even considered nationalizing the US 5G network and considered citing emergency power to limit China’s further investment in sensitive industries.
US concerns are not limited to the Chinese 5G base station field, because there are still other companies in the market that can provide solutions. At the same time, the United States still has an advantage in the field of chips manufacturing. Therefore, the United States is also concerned about how to protect the rights of other 5G industries in the country. Since chip manufacturing is usually in the form of an outsourcing. Once the manufacturing location is in China, the United States is worried their intellectual property. Therefore, the United States pays special attention to China’s commitment to intellectual property protection and technology transfer.
China has taken a dominant position in the field of network equipment, and the US industrial chain is facing a greater threat. Sino-US relations are no longer limited to trade, and technology is a more important battlefield. As 5G enters commercialization, the conflict between China and the United States will enter a more detailed field.