According to media reports in mainland China, 21 provincial governments listed the development of 5G business as one of the priorities of 2019. At the same time, the State Council of China announced on February 18th the “Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Grand Area Outline Development Plan”. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the two things happen back to back, and they are part of the overall 5G disposal of the central government plan.
China has the most advanced 5G technology and has carefully designed the “Made in China 2025” program. It is determined to bring the technology to the global market and to realize its full potential. But the plan touched some nerves, including plans for US President Donald Trump. After taking office, President Trump ordered a series of official measures. Bullying includes threats to trade with China, as well as strict scrutiny of China’s global communications giants such as ZTE and Huawei. In the process, President Trump tried to prevent China from further advancing 5G technology and preventing China from taking over the global communications market, thus posing a threat to the status of the United States as a world economic leader. Due to the obstacles of overseas markets, it has had a serious impact on China’s technology and economic development, and the central government is desperately searching for alternative solutions.
With the prosperous Internet industry, the free market is critical to the success of the innovation and technology industries. Despite the wide range of risks, such as false information, data theft and privacy violations, the Internet is now used by people around the world. No one can completely break away from technology and its applications, including China. In the world of Internet of Things (IoT) penetration, the application of 5G technology will produce similar effects to the Internet industry. Science and technology economists point out that people who control 5G will dominate the world economy. Therefore, the purpose of China’s attempt to enter the global 5G market is no different from the purpose of the United States when it promoted the Internet 20 years ago. This move only shows that China has a vision for the future economy. However, the United States targets the 5G market and takes measures to hinder China’s development in the region.
Create domestic demand
Due to the suppression by the United States and its allies, China was forced to curb its expansion in the 5G market in Europe and the United States and adopt a different approach. In order to avoid over-reliance on Western markets, China seeks to support internal markets by creating domestic demand. I believe this is a wise move. The Chinese market is huge and the demand is large. This has been demonstrated by the fast-growing mobile technology industry over the past decade. Mobile commerce applications such as online shopping and mobile payments have proliferated nationwide. Most importantly, China’s country-led economic model makes it easier and more effective to create a 5G technology market on the mainland than in other parts of the world. As the market matures, Western countries will compete to enter the market. By then, it is difficult for them to resist the 5G standard already in use.
The newly released Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Dawan District Development Outline has announced 5G technology as one of the key development areas. The plan is closely related to the construction of the Greater Bay Area. The Hong Kong SAR Government should actively seek ways to leverage its strengths and cooperate with the Guangdong Provincial Government to promote the development of the 5G economy.
Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao governments should work together to build the “Dawan District Smart City Test Base” on the ring road on the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border. Hong Kong has an advantage in urban planning and can contribute a lot to smart city display areas. Internet of things technology can be widely deployed to support the sharing economy and innovation. Another example is the Smart Medicine Display Zone, which uses Hong Kong’s first-class medical services and puts in advanced technology such as real-time video consultation. This will further promote the integration of the two places, so that Hong Kong residents living in Guangdong can enjoy real-time medical services in Hong Kong through 5G technology.
Over the years, Hong Kong’s strengths have helped to promote China’s development and explore global opportunities. China’s attempts to enter the global 5G market may present obstacles, but the huge domestic demand in the Greater Bay Area, coupled with Hong Kong’s unique role as a world city, can help China find its way out.