5G

Visitors are pictured in front of an immersive art installation titled "Machine Hallucinations — Space: Metaverse" by media artist Refik Anadol, which will be converted into NFT and auctioned online at Sotheby's, at the Digital Art Fair, in Hong Kong, China, 30 September 2021. (Tyrone Siu/File Photo/Reuters)

Metaverse: A chance to build a better world

Academic Pei Sai Fan says that one should dream big with the metaverse and not only see it as a new avenue of making money. By creating a new virtual universe from scratch, we can make good use of the blockchain-based metaverse to promote an equitable, more transparent and more inclusive rules-based international digital currency and financial system and enhance the global governance system to deal with issues facing all countries. This would require a global approach and China is well placed technologically to actively participate and lead the effort with like-minded nations in creating such a metaverse. It would be a pity if countries squandered such an opportunity to truly build a better world for all mankind.
People watch a lights performance at TelcoDR Cloud City during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, 29 June 2021. (Albert Gea/Reuters)

China’s cloud war: Huawei leading the three-cornered fight? [Part 1]

In recent years and since the pandemic led to the surge in live streaming, e-learning and other online activities, the demand for cloud computing and related services has increased significantly. Chinese companies led by frontrunners Huawei, Tencent and Alibaba are launching into all-out competition in the cloud services sector. In particular, Huawei Cloud experienced a surge in year-on-year earnings of 168%, despite US sanctions. Huawei Cloud is also aiming to clinch the top spot in the sector, erstwhile occupied by Alibaba Cloud. Caixin journalist Zhang Erchi takes a deep dive into the issue to get a sense of who's really leading the fight. In part one of the story, he focuses on Huawei.
A navigation map on the app of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi is seen on a mobile phone in front of the app logo displayed in this illustration picture taken 1 July 2021. (Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

Didi COO and family called 'traitors': Chinese tech entrepreneurs now public enemies on social media?

If being removed from app stores is not enough, ride-hailing giant Didi is making the headlines for another debacle. COO Jean Liu; her father, Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi; and her grandfather, the late patent lawyer Liu Gushu, are being vilified on Weibo for alleged misdeeds and being “traitors to the country”. Amid tense US-China relations and domestic nationalism in overdrive, will internet giants like Didi be easy targets and buckle under the pressure? Zaobao’s China Desk files this report based on various Chinese media sources.
A girl uses a mobile phone as she rests on a bench in Beijing, China, on 4 March 2021. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

A former Singapore journalist remembers a very different China in the 1980s

Former journalist Teo Han Wue chuckles as he recalls his first assignment in China covering an international Confucianism conference in Qufu, Confucius’ hometown in Shandong. Telecommunications facilities then were a far cry from the advances in 5G or AI that China enjoys now. Even sending a facsimile was a comedy of errors.
A worker makes finishing touches to a signage for 5G mmWave at the MWC Shanghai exhibition in Shanghai, China, on 23 February 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Has China surpassed the US in the 5G race?

In the development of 1G to 4G technology, the US, Europe and Japan took turns to dominate. When it comes to 5G, China says that it has built the largest 5G network globally with other 718,000 5G base stations throughout the country, which is at least ten times the network in the US. China is also strong in 5G chip design and is making inroads in setting global standards for wireless networks. Is China getting a leg up in the tech race? 
Staff members examine the return module of China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe in Siziwang Banner, in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on 17 December 2020. (STR/AFP)

China’s strides in technology good for US and the world

Adherence to IP protection and the rule of law are common and valid concerns of US and Western practitioners doing business in China. Commentator Deng Qingbo says that in that light, China’s recent stated focus on technological innovation should be cheered, as science, rational thinking, abiding by the rules, and even democracy often go together. At the same time, the Chinese need to better communicate their desire to share the fruits of their technological advancements with the rest of the world.
A paramilitary police officer stands guard during a flag-raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square on National Day to mark the 71st anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China, in Beijing, China, 1 October 2020. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Exemplary punishment: How China's using wolf-warrior tactics on Australia to warn the rest

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian's recent tweet of an image depicting an Australian soldier holding a knife to a child’s throat has brought China-Australia relations to a new low. While the Australian prime minister has softened his stance and even made goodwill gestures to China, these were rejected by Chinese officials and its people. Edwin Ong traces the deterioration of China-Australia relations and notes that China may not rein in its abrasive wolf-warrior tactics anytime soon. However, he says such tactics may not benefit China in the end.
A robotic dog powered by Huawei Cloud is seen at a booth during Huawei Connect in Shanghai, China, 23 September 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China's whole-of-nation push for technological innovation

Innovation features prominently in the proposals for China's 14th Five-Year Plan. Apart from building up long-term resources such as education and basic scientific research, much government weight will be thrown behind building self-reliance in core technologies, including in the semiconductor industry, says Erik Baark and Qian Jiwei.
This illustration picture taken on 17 February 2019 shows the 5G wireless technology logo displayed on a smartphone and a wireless signal sign. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP)

Southeast Asia a contested venue for telecommunication superpowers building 5G networks

Many Southeast Asian telecommunication providers have rolled out their 5G masterplans and selected vendors this year, with Covid-19 prompting the need to accelerate the upgrading of digital infrastructure. However, while most Southeast Asian countries welcome collaboration with Chinese telecommunication vendors including Huawei, some telecommunication providers in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines have recently moved away from partnering with Chinese companies. ISEAS academic Melinda Martinus finds out SEA's preferred vendors for developing 5G networks, and the reasons behind these shifts in preferences. Are Chinese companies still well-positioned to seize the opportunities in this arena?