China Leads Tech Spending, Global Market 5G Race

China Mobile 5G
A woman looks at her mobile phone next to a 5G sign (Photo: Reuters)

China retained its lead as Asia's largest in term of tech spending as it is projected to grow by 4 percent this year and 6 percent in 2020. The country also leads the global market in terms of 5G development as its investments in telecommunications contributes 57 percent of the nation's overall spending.

According to Forrester, China will remain the highest spender in technology. The country is forecasted to spend $256 billion this year and $273 billion in 2020. The nation also leads the global market in 5G after outspending the United States by $24billion in 5G since 2015 following the announcement of its three major telcos to launch their commercial 5G networks in 2020.

There has been fierce competition in 5G development between the United States and China. Last year, the United States accused Huawei, a Chinese firm that leads the development of the 5G network globally, of placing backdoor software that transmits sensitive trade and security data from its users back to China. Huawei's CEO was arrested in Canada in demand of the United States. Analysts believe that China's 5G development is way ahead of the United States. In a statement, Huawei said that the allegations of the United States are baseless and a desperate move to eliminate the fast-growing 5G development of China from the competition.

According to Forrester's projection, China's tech spending will increase for two succeeding years despite the pressure of the on-going trade tension between the United States and China. Japan is the second largest spender in technology this year. Japan and China's spending will contribute 60 percent to the total tech budget of the Asia-Pacific.

India is ranked third at projected spending of $70 billion. South Korea and Australia will both spend $50 billion on technology. The total spending of Singapore, the leader of the group, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Hong Kong is between $20 billion and $30 billion.

Forrester said that in addition to its slowly progressing smart nation vision, Singapore is doubling down on digital to boost the competitiveness of enterprises at home and in the rest of ASEAN. The research firm added that Singapore also sees artificial intelligence (AI) as an important enabler of long-term sustainability and the entry of digital-native firms like Amazon and Alibaba into Southeast Asia should create the necessary urgency for sectors like retail and logistics in other ASEAN markets to begin a long-overdue digital transformation.

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