China Unicom, one of the three telecom giants in China, will push forward with the construction of 5G telecommunication infrastructure globally, particularly in Belt and Road countries, according to the company’s leader.

As the first Chinese telco that went through mixed ownership reform, China Unicom will promote its “Five New” strategy, which refers to new governance, new genes, new operations, new functions and new ecosystem, Li Guohua, the President of China Unicom, said in an opening speech at the China Unicom International Partners Meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday.

Li said China Unicom will strengthen its ties with global telcos and industry chains and jointly promote the construction of 5G telecommunication networks, apply new technologies and form an ecology with mutual benefits.

He said China’s 5G commercial services will create a direct economic benefit of US$1.5 trillion by 2025. He added that China’s 5G sector will soon enter a rapid growth period with more and more international partnership in the sector.

In 2016, China Unicom launched its mixed-ownership reform proposal, which was approved in the following year. It received a fund of $10 billion from 14 strategic investors including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and Jindong for the restructuring.

On June 6 this year, the Minister of Industry and Information Technology granted 5G licenses for commercial use to China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom – plus China Broadcasting Network. The move is believed to help China speed up its development in the 5G sector.

Now China Unicom has its 5G network covering seven key cities, which include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Xiong’an. It also has hotspot coverage in 33 Chinese cities.

China Unicom held its international partners meeting ahead of the Mobile World Congress 2019, which will be on in Shanghai from Wednesday to Friday.

Shusen Meng, the Chairman and President of China Unicom Global Ltd, introduces the company’s global strategies. Photo: Asia Times
China Unicom and its partners form the 5G International Cooperation Union Members. Photo: Asia Times

Read: China grants 5G licenses to major telecoms