China Unveils Three Year Plan for 5G Development, Aims for over 560 Million Users by 2023


The Chinese central government has released a new policy initiative to spur growth in the country’s 5G sector.

On 13 July the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) led the issuance of the “5G Application ‘Raising the Sail’ Action Plan (2021 – 2023)” (5G应用“扬帆”行动计划(2021-2023年)) in conjunction with nine other central government authorities.

The Plan sets the following targets for 2023:

  • 5G user penetration rates exceeding 40%.
  • 5G users in China exceeding 560 million.
  • 5G network access traffic exceeding 50%
  • 5G applications achieving “dual breakthroughs” in both “depth and breadth” in key areas
  • Key 5G application indices seeing large-scale increases.
  • 5G network usage efficiency markedly increasing.

Liu Liehong (刘烈宏), deputy-head of MIIT, said that China had already established the world’s largest fibre optics network alongside independent 4G and 5G networks.

“At present [China] has already established 916,000 5G base stations, accounting for 70% of the global total,” said Liu. “The number of 5G connections exceeds 365 million, accounting for 80% of the global total.”