Social Networking and the Battle to Dominate 5G
by Kamol Kamoltrakul
Social networking has become an integral part of our daily lives. A majority of people today seem to be unable to live without it.
According to CEO World Magazine, as of January 2019, Facebook has the highest number of active users, 2.27 billion, followed by YouTube with 1.9 billion monthly active users.
While Facebook continues to dominate the online social media world, it should not be forgotten that they also own WhatsApp, ranked third, Messenger, ranked fourth, and Instagram, ranked fifth in global popularity.
Meanwhile. China, with the world’s second largest economy, has introduced several of its own application and platforms to compete with the West. WeChat, a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Tencent, was launched in 2011, and by 2018, according to Wikipedia, it is now one of the world's largest standalone mobile apps based on monthly active users. It now has over one billion monthly active users with 902 million active daily. Described as one of the world's most powerful apps by Forbes, it is also known as China's "app for everything" and a "super app" because of its wide range of functions and platforms.
Baidu is another search engine China has introduced to attract users from the Google search engine, which is still dominating the global market. Baidu, though, is now the second largest search engine in the world, and hold a 76.05 percent market share in China's search engine market.
In December 2007, Baidu became the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 index, and as of May 2018, its market cap had risen to US$99 billion. Then, in October 2018, Baidu became the first Chinese firm to join the US-led AI ethics group.
Now, as we enter the next generation of communications, 5G, telecommunications is becoming significantly faster. With this, users will be able to browse the internet, upload and download videos, and use data-intensive apps and features such as virtual reality much more quickly and smoothly than has been possible.
A major concern now is that China will get widespread 5G coverage before the US and West, which will allow it to accelerate the development of specific 5G-reliant technologies, like self-driving cars. With the help of Huawei, China could displace Silicon Valley as the world’s innovation center industry executives and policymakers in Washington believe. In fact, Huawei, not so long ago, unveiled several 5G-ready products at MWC 2018, including the first 5G customer premises equipment (CPE).
Upgrading to 5G still requires telecom firms around the world to invest heavily on new kit. Huawei, as well as rivals Ericsson, a Swedish firm, and Nokia, a Finnish company, are fighting to become the principal suppliers.
It’s obvious that the technology should be able to meet the vast needs for additional data transmission capability that are expected in the next several years. Some industry analysts estimate there will be nearly 21 billion internet-connected devices by the year 2020, more than three times as many as there were in 2016. That figure doesn't just include phones, tablets and computers, but also devices such as home appliances, cars, dog collars and many more connected via the Internet of Things.
One expert says the question is who will control the hardware of the 5G and benefit most from the new technology. Huawei wants to be first, and the US is now trying to stop this.
Top 20 most-used social networking sites and apps in the world as of 2019
CEO World Magazine)
Facebook: 2.27 billion
YouTube: 1.9 billion
WhatsApp: 1.5 billion
Facebook Messenger: 1.3 billion
WeChat: 1.08 billion
Instagram: 1 billion
QQ: 803 million
QZone: 531 million
Douyin / Tik Tok: 500 million
Sina Weibo: 446 million
Reddit: 330 million
Twitter: 326 million
Douban: 320 million
LinkedIn: 303 million
Baidu Tieba: 300 million
Skype: 300 million
Snapchat: 287 million
Viber: 260 million
Pinterest: 250 million
LINE: 194 million
(Source: CEO World Magazine)