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Biden administration repeating 5G mistakes in 6G quest

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-05 07:23


The United States is developing 6G wireless communication systems with nine countries that are its military allies, exposing its intention of launching a tech race with China by applying its own standards and narrowing the opportunities for China. As Axios described it, "a battle is underway to influence the standards of 6G".

The US might want to maintain its technological hegemony, but such hegemonic thinking will only hurt its 6G industry as well as the world's. After all, like a majority of telecommunications technologies, 6G is based on tens of thousands of patents developed by scientists and engineers globally. According to IP solution provider LexisNexis, by July 2023, the number of declared 5G patent families stood at over 60,000, more than twice that of 4G. The number of 6G patents will only be higher; China has already outpaced the US in the number of filed 6G-related patents.

If the US continues with its uncooperative stance toward China in 6G, it will end up ignoring a number of patents from China and invest heavily in developing patents to realize similar functions. That is like reinventing the wheel, which is a waste of time, energy and precious human intelligence.

Actually, the US has already paid a huge price by adopting an antagonistic attitude in the 5G sector and banning the sale of communications equipment made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE in 2022. This has also dragged the pace of its 5G network building. It will be repeating the mistake if it still wants to close the door tighter instead of opening it wider.

In the field of 6G, China's huge capabilities, borne out by its large number of related patents, huge market size and developed digital economy, make it a potential competitor to the US. But China has no intention of countering any nation or organization. Instead, China has been actively participating in international 6G cooperation.

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