Chinese vendors win nearly all of China Mobile’s 5G business – there’s a shock

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, has completed the second phase of its 5G tender and 86% of the work went to Huawei and ZTE.

The news comes courtesy of and is written in Chinese, so we’re once more indebted to our China correspondent for a translation, as Google Translate really struggles with that language. “China Mobile’s second phase 5G construction has selected bid winners, total investment CNY 37.1 billion. Huawei and ZTE combined win 86% of the total,” reads the headline.

The main event is the table below, which displays the following information, from left to right: Province | Number of base stations | Huawei | ZTE | Ericsson | China Information Communication Technologies Group Corporation. Underneath each vendor is the bidding price in CNY and the proportion of the base stations won.

Some of the mechanics of the bidding process remain a mystery, especially with such similar bids yielding such different proportions. In one province Ericsson seems to have out-bid CICT but got a smaller proportion of the work. Notable by its absence is Nokia, which apparently did get involved but failed to win anything.

While we’re sure everything about the bidding process was totally transparent and above board, it comes as no surprise to see the process dominated by Chinese vendors. All the aggro around Huawei and the US was already threatening a balkanisation of the technology industry and growing western criticism of China’s role in the coronavirus pandemic will surely only accelerate that process.

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  1. Avatar MMFM 02/04/2020 @ 12:44 pm

    That’s the free market that China advocates and even use to threat western countries.

  2. Avatar Denis 03/04/2020 @ 7:02 am

    From the table it looks that Ericsson is 2…4 times more expensive than Chinese companies.

  3. Avatar Nmos 08/04/2020 @ 6:46 pm

    Such biased reporting. If you look at the chart, it clearly suggests that Ericsson charges higher for in general if you look at the trend of the costs and the percentage of the network, but Bicheno insists on blaming it on unfair bidding. Again, I say in general when looking at the overall chart, as there definitely is likely certain areas that may cost higher than others.

  4. Avatar Siboniso Chapman Shongwe 09/04/2020 @ 4:29 am

    China deserves to dominate 5g network. We are tired of the US controlling the world. Especially under Trump leadership

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