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5G networks

5G phones debut in China to a shrug amid lack of networks

Shift from 4G likely won't gain momentum until 2023

Vivo rolled out its first 5G models earlier this month, but shoppers were out of luck in Guangzhou, where the high-speed network is not yet available. (Photo by Takashi Kawakami)

GUANGZHOU -- Smartphone makers in China have released new 5G handsets over the past month to a muted reaction because the networks that run the next-generation wireless technology are still unavailable in most parts of the country.

With overall demand for smartphones in China slowing, it will likely take several years before 5G-compatible phones become widely used, analysts say.

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