China has taken a lead in many areas of financial technologies, such as mobile payments and e-commerce, Paul Schulte, head of an institute that focuses on research of financial institutions and technology, told the Vision China event on Tuesday.
When it comes to e-commerce and mobile payments, Chinese internet companies Alibaba and Tencent have expanded their presence from Beijing to Singapore, Jakarta and the Middle East, said the founder of Schulte Research.
He said one of the reasons for the popularity of digital payments in China is that the country doesn't have large credit card companies trying to maintain market share. As a result, China was able to create a new type of payment infrastructure from scratch, Schulte said.
In addition to China's active role in financial technologies, the country is also moving ahead in autonomous cars, battery technology and 5G, where China is substantially ahead of the rest of the world, Schulte said. "China's move into 5G is very much geared toward an industrial build to address industrial issues like smart cities, urban planning and the integration of the healthcare systems," Schulte said.
China is expediting the construction of its faster 5G networks. More than 10,000 new 5G base stations are being built in China every week. The rapid rollout came after more than 200,000 5G base stations became operational nationwide from mid-May, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
By the end of this year, 5G services are expected to be available in about 350 cities across China.
The nation's telecom carriers will invest 180 billion yuan ($25.4 billion) in the 5G rollout this year, which will motivate telecom companies to invest more than 520 billion yuan in superfast wireless technology, a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology forecast.
"5G is perfect for two things: extremely large amounts of data and very cheap individual transactions," Schulte said.
"That's what 5G is really implemented for. It makes the greatest amount of sense in the area of industrial use where 5G can monetize itself."
Schulte said 5G needs to be in use worldwide so that the superfast wireless technology can benefit people around the globe.