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Shanghai’s Digital Upgrade: 5G-A, Blockchain, and Global Hub

Shanghai is upgrading its digital infrastructure, including 5G, AI, and blockchain capabilities, aiming to become a global digital hub by 2026.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shanghai to upgrade 5G networks, international Internet connections, and advance AI and blockchain.
  • Digital infrastructure development to support AI, blockchain, 5G, and Digital Twin by 2026.
  • Plans to create a global digital hub and strengthen international network connections.
  • Focus on high-performance computing, data infrastructure, and innovative tech like 6G and smart endpoints.

Shanghai, China, is set to embark on an ambitious journey to solidify its position as a global tech hub. Under its current policy to boost innovation and digital city construction, Shanghai will undergo a comprehensive digital upgrade.

By the end of 2026, the city aims to reach new heights in digital infrastructure development and service capacities. This upgrade will pave the way for emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, 5G, and Digital Twin to seamlessly integrate into the city’s daily life and production.

Shanghai’s commitment to technological advancement is evident in its existing 5G infrastructure. With 88,000 5G base stations, it already leads the country in 5G station density. By 2023, Shanghai will roll out 5G-A, a network that promises speeds of around 10 gigabytes per second (Gbps). This technology, ten times faster than current 5G services, is crucial for applications like autonomous driving, 3D, AR/VR, and AI.

Updating Faster

Huawei describes 5G-A as “faster, smarter, and greener,” boasting integrated sensing, connectivity, and native AI capabilities.

The digital upgrade plan also includes the development of high-performance computing capabilities and top-tier data infrastructure. These will support large-scale AI models and creative blockchain applications.

Shanghai is not limiting its ambitions to domestic boundaries. The city aims to become a global digital hub, connecting local and foreign countries. To achieve this, Shanghai will accelerate the construction of the Southeast Asia-Japan No. 2 submarine fiber optic cable and expand its existing submarine fiber optic cable system.

Moreover, China Mobile is contributing to this endeavor by upgrading its international network connections, further promoting overseas trade and the Belt and Road initiative.

The Shanghai strategy extends beyond network upgrades, encompassing innovative infrastructures like 6G, chip-making, humanoid and smart endpoints, and citywide systems. These innovations will enhance intelligence in sectors such as transportation, logistics, education, medical, and senior care.


Shanghai’s commitment to technological advancement is commendable, and its plans to create a global digital hub are poised to reshape the city’s landscape. With 5G-A technology, high-performance computing, and robust data infrastructure, Shanghai is gearing up to lead the charge in emerging technologies, benefiting not only its residents but also fostering international collaboration. The city’s dedication to innovation and connectivity is a testament to China’s position as a global tech powerhouse.