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How does 5G Change the Communication Market in China In Spite of the Pandemic? Part 3

Dialogue About the Practical Importance of 5G

If you have ever been in China, you may have noticed that in the evenings many pedestrian streets turn into spontaneous markets, where people of all ages and professions offer a variety of goods and services – from covers for mobile phones and headphones to foot massage and heart rate diagnostics.

After a long and strict period of self-isolation, such markets have found a second wind – and even those that until recently were indifferent to this kind of entertainment suddenly began to sell clothes, souvenirs, gadgets, etc.

The Zhejiang Unicom ad campaign ditches the traditional format of 5G news when it is presented as a “national achievement”, proof of China in the tech industry, and so on. The commercials focus on small entrepreneurs who work, one might say, on the roads. And this is exactly the kind of advertising that is lacking both in China and around the world – conveying the practical significance of technology development for ordinary consumers and small businesses.

The company tells several stories in which it describes the development values of 5G technology. These stories fit fully into the context of the technology’s future use, so it makes sense to summarize them.

Fruit and vegetable traders are offered to choose a place of sale not at random, but based on of processing a large amount of data, which will analyze the demand for, conditionally, watermelons online. For example, a cart with fruit will be able to go to a pedestrian zone or a nightclub, where the demand for watermelons will be recorded, and the merchant will have time to rest at this time. Thus, the vehicle will be able to function without an operator/driver and analyze demand in real-time, responding to requests instantly.

If, nevertheless, the merchant decided to join the spontaneous market right on the street, then next to his product he can leave a robot assistant, which instead of him will attract and entertain customers, talk about the products, and also accept payment. The entrepreneur himself can go about his business at this time.

Shopping for clothes is also taking it to the next level. Thanks to augmented reality mirrors, you can select the things you like from the mobile phone screen – and “try on” them online using this kind of mirrors that will project clothes onto the customer. The lack of a fitting room in a spontaneous market will not be an obstacle to purchase.

The service sector is also undergoing further development. All kinds of palmists and traditional Chinese medicine specialists (who often carry out primary diagnostics based on a person’s pulse), thanks to the high data transfer rate, can work remotely – without physical contact with the patient.

An important component of this kind of Chinese street culture – fast food – has also found its place in the advertising campaign. Food bloggers’ broadcasts are extremely popular in China. Gastronomy, by default, is an important part of Chinese culture. According to the creators, street sellers of fast food can not only arrange online broadcasts but in fact, arrange entire online shows with cooking, taking online orders along the way. All of this is being implemented in many ways today, but 5G technologies simply take it to a qualitatively different level.

If we omit all the many political statements about the importance of mastering 5G technologies and move away from the propaganda component of this process, then we can note that these are all quite objective, real-life changes that have already been launched in China. Asia in this respect will be at the forefront of technological development (not only China, but also South Korea, Japan), and every month the gap will only grow. 

 

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Aleksey Chigadaev

Aleksey Chigadaev is Digital Projects Director of iMARS Communications. Sinologist, media researcher, specialist in the field of intercultural communications.
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