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5G networks

In the race for 5G, Chinese carriers go slow and steady

Government's push for cheaper rates discourages capital expenditure

HONG KONG -- This year is supposed to mark the dawn of the 5G era, but China's telecommunications companies are showing a surprising amount of caution when it comes to investing in the next-generation technology.

Industry, investors and experts expect 5G will unlock a range of new technologies and applications, from lightning-fast mobile internet to self-driving cars and smart cities. Given its vast potential, 5G has also become a major point of contention in the U.S.-China friction, as each side attempts to push its own version of the technology in pursuit of global hegemony.

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