Huawei was one of the top players in China's 5G phones market. Photo: AFP /Nicolas Asfouri

China will ship 140 million 5G smartphones this year, market research company Counterpoint Research estimates.

In July, China’s sales of 5G phones reached 14 million units, up 239% from January and accounting for nearly 50% of the country’s smartphone sales, Counterpoint analyst Tang Ding, said. During the same month, China accounted for 79% of all 5G phone shipments globally.

The surge of China’s 5G smartphone shipments can be attributed to a number of reasons, including the rapid commercialisation of mid and low-end 5G chips from chipmakers like Qualcomm, MediaTek and Spreadtrum Communications; the high efficiency of new product development by Chinese mobile phone manufacturers and original design manufacturers; China’s effective control of the Covid-19 pandemic; and Chinese operators’ network coverage and their promotion of 5G data plans, Tang said.

More than 600,000 5G base stations have been built and put into use in China, connecting more than 100 million terminal devices in total, according to the data released by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Major Chinese 5G phone manufacturers include Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Realme and OnePlus.

China’s smartphone average selling price increased 12% year-on-year and the region contributed to over 34% of the global smartphone revenue, the highest since 2016.

Purchasing managers’ index

The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China’s non-manufacturing sector came in at 55.9 in September, up from 55.2 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.

The non-manufacturing PMI has remained above 50 for seven months in a row, data from the NBS showed. In September, the service sector accelerated its pace of recovery, with the sub-index for business activities expanding 0.9 points from the previous month to 55.2.

The effects of consumption-encouraging policies continued to filter through, boosting domestic demand and reviving business activities, said NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.

A breakdown of data showed the sub-indexes for business activities of transportation, telecommunications and software, as well as accommodation and catering remained above 60, Zhao said. Besides, the PMI for China’s manufacturing sector came in at 51.5 in September, up from 51 last month.

Market liquidity

China’s central bank on Wednesday continued to pump cash into the banking system via reverse repos to maintain liquidity.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) injected 50 billion yuan (US$7.34 billion) into the market through 14-day reverse repos at an interest rate of 2.35%, according to a statement on its website.

The move was intended to maintain stable liquidity in the banking system at the end of the third quarter, the central bank said.

Internet users

The number of internet users in China had reached 940 million as of June, accounting for one-fifth of the world’s total, according to a report issued by the China Internet Network Information Center.

The internet penetration rate in China reached 67%, about 5 percentage points higher than the global average, said the report .

Residents in 98% of China’s poor villages had access to the internet through fiber-optic cables, said the report, noting that the urban-rural digital gap had been significantly narrowed.

Internet services such as online education, medical consultation and remote-office facilities have great development potential due to the influence of the Covid-19 epidemic, said the report, adding that the number of online-education users now exceeds 380 million.

Trade surplus

In August, China’s international trade in goods and services recorded receipts of 1.69 trillion yuan and payments of 1.38 trillion yuan based on statistics of balance of payments registering a surplus of 312.1 billion yuan, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

The country’s international trade surplus in goods and services was 375.6 billion yuan in July, said SAFE.

The stories were written by Xu Jiangshan and first published at They were translated by Nadeem Xu.

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.