Chinese Government prioritising development of 6G

6G developments China

China’s Ministry for Industry and IT will be focusing on ‘comprehensive’ 6G development this year. Government, universities, research institutes, and companies will collaborate on R&D. Although it will take years for 6G to be ratified and adopted, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology announced commencement of 6G R&D in 2019 - soon after the launch of 5G.

6G is a key focus area for the country’s telecom and tech industry. Recent figures show that China ranks first globally in 6G patent applications (40.3%). The United States comes in second place (35.2%). In November 2020, China launched the first 6G satellite and Huawei has been testing NTN 6G networks using Low Earth Orbit satellites.

A call for proposals on potential key technologies has been issued by the IMT-2030 6G Promotion Group, the national coordinating body. The main objectives: “to inspire university-academy-industry-association entities for technology innovations, gather and form a rich reserve of 6G potential key technologies, and support 6G research, standardization, and industrial R&D.” Non-Chinese universities and research organizations have been invited to apply ahead of the November 2023 deadline.

China is also expected to have a strong influence on International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 6G standards, to be set around 2024. China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in China, has indicated that it firmly believes in global unified standards for 6G. However, Huang Yuhong, vice president of the China Mobile Research Institute recently commented that it is ‘still uncertain’ whether a global unified standard similar to 5G can be formed.

In addition to fast-tracking 6G developments, China’s ICT officials also plan to speed up rollout of 5G and optical networks, expand 5G private networking, work on the industrial Internet, and improve data security. According to Jin Zhuanglong, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, China will be introducing policies and measures to promote coordinated development of new information infrastructure construction and accelerate the construction of 5G and gigabit optical networks. The Ministry for Industry and IT will be improving telecom market development policies and strengthening personal information protection and users’ rights and interests.

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