China > Technological innovations in China

Technological innovations in China

This is a listing of technological innovations from China. It is based on newspaper reports that are cited in each case. It serves as a first step to facilitate an assessment of the technological development in China. An assessment of these innovations will not be made for the time being.


This listing will be supplemented on an ongoing basis and later broken down into focal points. The main source is English-language Asian newspapers.

Expansion of 5G stations in China progressing rapidly

July 21st, 2023 - China has reached its goal of building 3 million 5G stations half a year ahead of schedule. Most recently, 600,000 5G stations were built in three months to June 2023.

Compare that to the U.S., where officials say 100,000 5G stations were built in two years from 2019 to 2021.

The 5G stations in China are connected to 676 million smartphones and more than 1.2 billion Internet of Things (IoT) terminal users, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology MIIT.

The 5G stations and corresponding network are primarily intended to support "smart manufacturing." MIIT states:

  • "Product development times in factories were reduced by 20.7% on average and production efficiency increased by 34.8%."

5G networks are used in over 40% of China's economy, including industry, healthcare, education, and transportation.

Stephen Chen, "China built more 5G base stations in 3 months than US did in 2 years", 20 July 2023 in: South China Morning Post , accessed 21 July 2023.

Nuclear power station in space in the planning

November 26th, 2021 - The former US president Trump signed an order to accelerate the application of nuclear power in US civilian and military space programmes. Currently NASA openbed a bid to private companies to develop a 10-kilowatt nuclear power station to support a susrained human presence on the moon within a decade.

Russia wants to launch a huge nucelar power station before 2030 in order to operate in the Earth's lower orbit.

The European Space Agency strives to test a 200 kW space reactor on the ground by 2023.

The South China Morning Post announced that China is developing a nuclear power station for its moon and Mars mission. This power station could generate one megawatt of electric power, which is 100 times more powerful than what Nasa plany to put on the surface of the moon by 2030.


Stephen Chen, "China's space programme will go nuclear to power future missions to the moon and Mars" (24 Nov, 2021) in: South China Morning Post on (accessed on Novemver 26th, 2021)

Military: Over-the-Horizon (OTH) radar programme developed

January 9th, 2019 - Chinese scientists have developed as radar system that can constantly detect an area the size of India. Other than land-based radar systems it is of compact size and can be implemented mobile on warships making it possible to spot approaching adverse warships, aircrafts or missiles much earlier than before.  

With the previous technology China was only able to capture 20% of the water area China counts as its sphere of influence and interest. These are the South China Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The new technology covers the whole area of China’s interest.  

There is no further information about the functionality of this "Over-the-Horizon" radar system.  

The US-American defence contractor Raytheon Company was granted a patent for a similar system in 2016. This system consists of a transmitting vessel and several receiving ships with antennae mounted on the deck in order to pass on the signals to aircraft carries via satellite or airborne relays. Raytheon’s system has a detection range of 620 miles and covers an area about the size of India.  


Chen, Stephen: „Chinese navy’s new ‘compact’ radar will allow it to keep watch over an area the size of India” (9. Jan. 2019), in: South China Morning Post, unter (accessed 9 January 2019).