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Development of 5G in China 2021 and Beyond

  • Report

  • 16 Pages
  • June 2021
  • Region: China
  • Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC)
  • ID: 5356086

Since the rollout of commercial 5G services in October 2019, the combined number of 5G subscribers of China’s top three telecoms has reached 420 million in April 2021. In addition, a total of 819,000 5G base stations have been built by these three telecom giants, accounting for 70% of the world’s total. 

As China has played a leading role in 5G technology, its 5G development has extraordinary significance for other countries. This report analyzes the top three Chinese telecoms’ strategies and current development in 5G and finds out the plans of the Chinese government and telecoms for the next stage after 2021.

List of Topics

  • 5G commercialization and base station deployment in China and includes leading countries’ 5G share forecast in 2025
  • Three leading telecom operators’ 5G development plans in the consumer market
  • Two key trends in China’s 5G development from the perspectives of 5G infrastructure and key applications

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Table of Contents

1. 5G Commercialization and Base Station Deployment in China
1.1 China’s 5G Package Subscribers Exceed 400M with World’s Highest 5G Penetration Rate
1.2 China Leads World with Over 80% of Global 5G Connections
1.3 China Accounts for 70% of World’s 5G Base Stations with Steady Growth of 5G Investment
1.4 China Tops World in Number of 5G Cities

2. Chinese Telecoms’ 5G Development Plans in the Consumer Market
2.1 Low-priced 5G Scheme Design and 5G Service Ecosystem Creation through Cross-sector Cooperation
2.2 Boost 5G Phone Shipment Share Rapidly by Offering Subsidies for Installment Purchases
2.3 ARPU Remains Flat as Telecoms Use Low-priced 5G Schemes to Seize Market Share

3. Key Trends in China’s 5G Development
3.1 5G Infrastructure as Core of Future Development; Continued Improvement in 5G Infrastructure
3.1.1 5G Infrastructure at the Core of the 14th Five-year Plan
3.1.2 Provide Action Plans for IIoT and Household Subscribers to Complete 5G Infrastructure
3.2 Develop Key Applications to Change Consumption Model and Increase Network Traffic
3.2.1 MIIT Aims to Enhance Innovation in AR/VR and Immersive Games
3.2.2 Telecoms Keep Focusing on AR/VR, Cloud Gaming, and Other Key 5G Applications in the Consumer Market in 2021

4. Publisher Perspective

5. Appendix

List of Figures
Figure 1 Leading Countries’ Share of Global 5G Connections in 2025
Figure 2 China’s 5G Phone Shipment Volume and Share

List of Tables
Table 1 Number of Mobile Subscribers of China’s Top Three Telecoms as of April 2021
Table 2 5G Base Station Deployment Plans of China’s Top Three Telecoms for 2021
Table 3 Top 12 Countries Ranked by the Number of 5G Cities as of February of 2021
Table 4 China Mobile’s 5G Application Services
Table 5 Changes in Chinese Telecoms’ ARPU
Table 6 5G Application Services in the Consumer Market Planned by China’s Top Three Telecoms

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • China Broadcasting Network
  • China Mobile
  • China Telecom
  • China Unicom
  • Huawei
  • Samsung
  • Tencent
  • Viavi Solutions
  • ZTE


Primary research with a holistic, cross-domain approach

The exhaustive primary research methods are central to the value that the analyst delivers. A combination of questionnaires and on-site visits to the major manufacturers provides a first view of the latest data and trends. Information is subsequently validated by interviews with the manufacturers' suppliers and customers, covering a holistic industry value chain. This process is backed up by a cross-domain team-based approach, creating an interlaced network across numerous interrelated components and system-level devices to ensure statistical integrity and provide in-depth insight.

Complementing primary research is a running database and secondary research of industry and market information. Dedicated research into the macro-environmental trends shaping the ICT industry also allows the analyst to forecast future development trends and generate foresight perspectives. With more than 20 years of experience and endeavors in research, the methods and methodologies include:


  • Component supplier interviews
  • System supplier interviews
  • User interviews
  • Channel interviews
  • IPO interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Consumer surveys
  • Production databases
  • Financial data
  • Custom databases


  • Technology forecasting and assessment
  • Product assessment and selection
  • Product life cycles
  • Added value analysis
  • Market trends
  • Scenario analysis
  • Competitor analysis