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Telecommunications industry in China - statistics & facts

The telecommunications industry in China experienced several waves of reforms in the last three decades towards liberalization and privatization. Nowadays, China has become one of the largest telecommunications markets in the world. By 2019, China had more than 850 million internet users, accounting for more than one-fifth of internet users over the world. China generated a monthly revenue of more than one hundred billion yuan from the telecommunications sector.

Three pillars of the Chinese telecommunications services

As a result of the reconstruction and acquisitions in 2008, the Chinese telecommunications market was dominated by three state-controlled telecommunications service operators: China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom. While China Mobile focused on providing mobile services, China Telecom and China Unicom were also issued with nationwide fixed-line licenses. In 2019, China Mobile generated revenue of more than 745 billion yuan and ranked in third place among all telecommunications operators worldwide.

In the same year, its competitor China Telecom generated a revenue of nearly 400 billion yuan from its voice, internet, and other services. While the number of mobile subscribers of China Telecom increased, its fixed-lines users shrank to almost half compared to 2008.

To stay competitive in the coming digital era, the major telecommunications providers in China also expanded to innovative business segments, such as IoT devices, e-payment, and cloud services.

The age of 5G

With over 1.6 billion mobile subscriptions, China was the country with the largest mobile-cellular user base worldwide in 2018. When 5G (fifth generation) technology started to hit the market in 2019, China became one of the frontrunners in the global 5G deployment and 5G devices production race.

By 2025, China was forecasted to host the most 5G connections in the world, approximately equaling to the sum of North America, Asia-Pacific developed countries, and western Europe. By the end of 2020, China was planning to activate more than 130,000 5G base stations. In the meantime, Chinese smartphone companies Huawei, Vivo, Xiaomi, and OPPO shipped about 14.6 million units of 5G smartphones in the first quarter of 2020, accounting for more than 60 percent of the global 5G smartphone shipments.

The vast majority of Chinese believed that the implementation of 5G technology would have a significant impact on their daily lives. Fast internet speeds and stable internet signals were the leading features that Chinese consumers expected from 5G technology.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Telecommunications industry in China".

Telecommunications industry in China

Dossier on the topic

All important statistics are prepared by our experts – available for direct download as PPT & PDF!

Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Telecommunications industry in China" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Mobile internet in China

Telecommunications equipment


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