Sep 10, 2020 07:34 PM

Pairing Up on 5G Saves China Telecom and Unicom 60 Billion Yuan

What’s new: China Unicom and China Telecom Corp. Ltd., two of China’s three biggest state-owned telecommunications operators, now have 300,000 5G stations up and running across China, they announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Wang Xiaochu, China Unicom’s chairman, said that the pair’s collaboration on 5G construction has saved the two companies some 60 billion yuan ($8.8 billion) in investment.

Combined, the number of stations opened is on par with that of China Mobile Ltd., the country’s other telecommunications giant.

What’s the background: The top three had budgeted a combined 180.3 billion yuan of capital expenditure on 5G construction, according to their 2019 annual reports.

As of the end of June, China had 410,000 5G stations already up and running, and by the end of July, 88 million people counted themselves as 5G device users, accounting for 80% of the world’s total, according to data provided by government officials.

Wang Zhiqin, vice president of the China Academy of information and Communications Technology, said at an industrial conference last month that the country is planning to add an additional 500,000 5G stations next year.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Lu Yutong ( and editor Marcus Ryder (

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