How China Built Out Its Tech Infrastructure

A look at how China has been able to build out its tech infrastructure and what implications this has for the rest of the world.

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The Birth of China’s Tech Infrastructure

China’s tech infrastructure development can be traced back to the early days of the internet. In the 1990s, the Chinese government began to invest in developing the country’s infrastructure and by the early 2000s, China had built one of the world’s largest and most advanced networks.

The Government’s Involvement

The Chinese government has been integral in the development of the country’s tech infrastructure. In the late 1990s, the Chinese government identified the need for China to have a robust tech infrastructure in order to compete on the global stage. To achieve this goal, the government pour billions of dollars into developing world-class telecom and Internet infrastructure. This massive investment paid off and China is now home to some of the most advanced telecom and Internet networks in the world.

The Private Sector’s Involvement

The birth of China’s tech infrastructure happened in three phases. The first phase was the development of the internet and associated technologies in the late 1990s to early 2000s. This phase was led by the government with support from state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and foreign companies. The second phase, from around 2005 to 2010, was when the private sector started to get involved in developing infrastructure, mainly via joint ventures (JVs) with SOEs or foreign telcos. The third phase began in earnest around 2010, when the Chinese government started promoting “indigenous innovation” and there was a greater push for domestic companies to develop their own technologies and create world-class products and services.

This article will focus on how Chinese companies have been involved in developing the country’s tech infrastructure, with a particular focus on telecoms and mobile networks.

In the early days of China’s internet development, most of the country’s internet infrastructure was built and operated by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). For example, China Telecom, which is still one of the country’s three major telecoms operators, built and operated most of China’s fixed-line network. China Netcom, another SOE that has since been merged into China Unicom, did something similar for China’s early mobile network.

Foreign companies also played a role in building out China’s internet infrastructure. In 1998, Cisco Systems helped build part of ChinaNet, which was an early attempt at creating a nationwide computer network linking all of China’s universities and research institutes. In 2000, Huawei signed a contract with China Telecom to help build its next-generation CDMA2000 mobile network. And in 2003, Ericsson helped China Unicom launch its WCDMA 3G network.

As China’s economy started to take off in the early 2000s and more people started going online, demand for internet services increased rapidly. This led to a need for more investment in infrastructure, which the government couldn’t meet on its own. As a result, the private sector started to get involved in developing telecoms and mobile networks from around 2005 onwards.

One of the first major private sector involvement cases was when Hutchison Whampoa (now CK Hutchison), a Hong Kong-based conglomerate controlled by billionaire Li Ka-Shing, acquired a majority stake in Hutchison 3G UK Holdings Ltd (now Three UK) in 2003 . Three UK then went on to win a licence to provide 3G mobile services in the UK auctions held that year . In 2006 , Hutchison Whampoa also acquired a 67% stake in Orange Austria , which was then owned by France Télécom (now Orange S.A.).

The Evolution of China’s Tech Infrastructure

In the early days of China’s economic reform, the country’s tech infrastructure was very rudimentary. There were only a few thousand mainframe computers in the entire country, and most of them were located in Beijing. The internet was nonexistent, and mobile phones were a rarity.

The Development of Key Technologies

The development of key technologies is essential for any country looking to build a strong tech infrastructure. China has made great strides in this area, becoming a world leader in many cutting-edge technologies.

One of the most important technologies for any country is a robust telecommunications infrastructure. This is essential for businesses and individuals to communicate both within the country and with the rest of the world. China has invested heavily in building up its telecommunications infrastructure, and it now has one of the most advanced networks in the world.

Another important area is data storage and computing power. This is essential for businesses and organizations to store and process large amounts of data. China has made significant investment in this area, and it now has some of the most powerful data center facilities in the world.

Finally, no tech infrastructure would be complete without a robust cybersecurity capability. This is essential to protect businesses and individuals from cyber attacks. China has been a leader in this area, developing some of the most sophisticated cybersecurity technologies in the world.

The Proliferation of Mobile Devices

The number of mobile phone users in China has grown rapidly in recent years. In 2013, there were 1.164 billion mobile phone users in China, an increase of 9.5 percent from 2012. By the end of 2014, the number of mobile phone users had reached 1.285 billion. This growth is due in part to the proliferation of low-cost smartphones, which has made mobile devices more affordable for a wider range of people.

In addition to an increase in the number of mobile phone users, there has also been an increase in the amount of data being consumed on mobile devices. According to China Unicom, one of China’s major telecommunications providers, the amount of data being consumed on mobile devices grew by 400 percent in 2014. This increase is due to a number of factors, including the increasing use of social media and streaming video services such as Youku and Tudou.

The growth in mobile data consumption has placed strain on China’s telecom infrastructure, leading to concerns about a potential “capacity crisis.” In response to this problem, the Chinese government has taken steps to improve and expand the country’s telecom infrastructure.

The Growth of the Internet

China has the largest number of internet users in the world and continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. The country now has over 738 million internet users, representing 53.2% of the population (Internetlivestats, 2016). Ten years ago, only 12.9% of the population was using the internet (CIA, 2013). This explosive growth is due in large part to the government’s proactive policies and initiatives to develop and improve China’s tech infrastructure.

One of the most important policies was the launch of the “Broadband China” strategy in 2013. The goal of this strategy is to provide high-speed broadband access to all homes and businesses in China by 2020. To achieve this, the government has been investing heavily in building out fiber optic networks and expanding mobile broadband coverage. As a result of these efforts, China now has the world’s largest fiber optic network with over 4 million kilometers of installed fiber (Broadband Commission, 2016). The country also has more than 1 billion mobile broadband subscribers (ITU, 2016).

In addition to investing in physical infrastructure, the Chinese government has also been supporting the development of innovative new technologies. For example, it has invested heavily in research and development for 5G wireless technology. China is now home to some of the world’s leading 5G companies, such as Huawei and ZTE. It is also working on developing its own operating system for smartphones, called “Deep OS”. Deep OS is designed to be more secure and efficient than Android or iOS (The Economist, 2015).

Overall, the Chinese government’s policies have been very successful in fostering the growth of the country’s tech infrastructure. As a result of these policies, China is now home to many leading tech companies and has one of the most advanced telecom networks in the world.

The Future of China’s Tech Infrastructure

With the continuous expansion of the Chinese economy, the development of the country’s tech infrastructure has played a vital role. In the past few years, China has made large investments in both its public and private tech infrastructure. As a result, the country now has one of the most advanced and sophisticated tech infrastructures in the world.


While the united states is still in the early stages of 5G deployment, China is well on its way to becoming a 5G powerhouse. By some estimates, China will have over 800 million 5G subscribers by 2025 – that’s more than double the number of 5G subscribers in the US.

China’s head start in 5G is due in large part to its aggressive investment in 5G infrastructure. The Chinese government has poured billions of dollars into building out a nationwide 5G network, and Chinese telecom companies have been quick to follow suit. As a result, China now has more than twice as many 5G base stations as the US.

ButChina’s lead in 5G isn’t just due to its investment in infrastructure. The country has also been aggressive in developing new applications for 5G technology. From autonomous vehicles to smart cities, China is exploring a wide range of potential use cases for 5G. And with Chinese companies like Huawei at the forefront of 5G development, it’s likely that many of these applications will be developed and deployed first in China.

What does this all mean for the future of the global tech landscape? For one thing, it’s clear that China is poised to play a major role in shaping the future of 5G. But it’s also worth noting that China’s lead in 5G doesn’t mean that the US is necessarily falling behind. While we may not be as far along as China in terms of deployment, American companies are still working hard to develop innovative new applications for 5G technology.

The Internet of Things

China is set to become the world’s leading market for the Internet of Things (IoT), according to a new report from research firm Gartner.

The country is expected to have 8.6 billion connected things in use by 2020, up from 638 million in 2016. This makes China far and away the largest IoT market, followed by the United States (which is projected to have just over half as many connected devices by 2020) and Japan.

Gartner attributes China’s dominance in the IoT space to a number of factors, including the country’s large population, its booming economy, and its aggressive push to build out smart city infrastructure. The Chinese government has also been supportive of the development of IoT technology, with a number of initiatives and programs aimed at stimulating growth in the sector.

One such program is the “Made in China 2025” initiative, which includes a focus on developing advanced manufacturing technologies, including robotics, 3D printing, and IoT. The initiative has already led to a surge in investment in IoT startups in China, and it is likely that we will see even more innovation coming out of the country in the years to come.

Artificial Intelligence

Over the past few years, China has made a concerted effort to become a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI). The Chinese government has put forth a number of initiatives to promote AI research and development, and has made significant investments in both startups and major tech companies working on AI technologies. As a result, China has become home to some of the world’s leading AI research labs and companies.

One of the most notable initiatives is the “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan,” which was released in 2017. The plan calls for significant investment in AI research and development, as well as the creation of an AI-powered “innovation ecosystem.” The government has also created a number of partnerships with major tech companies, including Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba, to promote AI development.

These efforts have already begun to pay off. In 2018, China was home to 21 of the world’s 50 top AI labs, according to analysis from McKinsey & Company. And Chinese companies now account for 17 of the world’s 20 top AI unicorns (startups with valuations over $1 billion).

Looking to the future, China is expected to maintain its momentum in AI development. The country is expected to continue making large investments in both research and development, as well as in startups and major tech companies. As a result, China is likely to remain at the forefront of artificial intelligence innovation.

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