China's 5G phone shipments soar 63.5% in 2021
A 5G billboard in Xidan Shopping Mall, Beijing, May 30, 2021. /CFP

A 5G billboard in Xidan Shopping Mall, Beijing, May 30, 2021. /CFP

Shipments of 5G phones in China skyrocketed by 63.5 percent year on year to reach 266 million units in 2021, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) showed on Friday.

The figure accounted for 75.9 percent of the total shipments during the same period, much higher than the global average of 40.7 percent, said the CAICT, a research institute under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The number of 5G terminals increased rapidly last year. As of the end of December, a total of 671 types of 5G terminals obtained a network access license, including 491 types of 5G mobile phones, 161 types of wireless data terminals and 19 types of vehicle wireless terminals.

Declining phone prices have injected impetus to the boom in 5G's popularity, as the price of 5G mobile phones dipped below 1,000 yuan (about $157.4), the institute noted.

In addition, the country continued to promote the construction of 5G networks and expand 5G coverage in major cities. As of the end of November last year, China built a total of 1.4 million 5G base stations, covering all cities above the prefecture level, more than 97 percent of counties and 50 percent of townships in the country, said the CAICT.

The country has also launched more than 1,800 5G+ industrial internet projects, covering 22 key industries and forming 20 typical application scenarios.

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(With input from Xinhua)

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