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China is expected to invest more than $150 billion in 5G by 2025, according to Goldman Sachs. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)
Industry in focus

Chinese 5G sparks gold rush for Japan's masters of materials

Little-known suppliers set to cash in as Huawei and Beijing bet big

RURIKA IMAHASHI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- On a bright day in late November, a dozen Japanese businesspeople in black suits gathered in Tokyo. Despite the funereal attire, they were there to hear about the birth of a lucrative new industry: 5G.

Liang Hua, the chairman of China's Huawei Technologies, had come to tell them how quickly his country was installing the lightning-fast telecom networks (well ahead of schedule) and how much money was on the line (billions upon billions of dollars).

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